Tshiamo Kgalalelo and Mmika Mpe, the Gantsi farm workers convicted earlier this year of brutally murdering their employer, have been sentenced to death and nearly 20 years for the 2014 incident.
Lobatse High Court Judge, Abednego Tafa yesterday ruled that Kgalalelo, 31, and Mpe, 27, should be hung by their necks until they died for their roles in the robbery, murder and arson attack on Reinette Vorster. The sentence came after Tafa failed to find extenuating circumstances for the pair’s crimes in a recent hearing.
The Judge also sentenced the duo to 10 years for robbery, five years for theft of motor vehicle, three years for malicious damage to property and one year for abduction. The abduction and malicious damage to property sentences will run concurrently, while the two years of the motor vehicle sentence will run concurrently with the robbery sentence. The individual sentences for the robbery and motor vehicle theft are the minimum prescribed by law.
The High Court earlier this year found that Kgalalelo and Mpe in January 2014 attacked Vorster, stealing her Toyota Hilux valued at P300,000, two cellphones and cash amounting to P11,000. The former employer had been driving from her farm to Gantsi at the time of the attack. The two then murdered Vorster and burnt her in the vehicle. Kgalalelo was arrested on February 3, 2014 at Vorster’s farm and Mpe, the day after in connection with a separate incident.
The duo had also been charged with sexual assault, but the court acquitted them of those charges due to insufficient evidence.
In an emotional plea for extenuation late last month, the two farm hands told the Lobatse High Court that the incident stemmed from their anger at alleged slave conditions on the farms in the district.