THREE Zimbabweans have been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a commercial farmer in the Limpopo area of South Africa.
Advocate Nketheni Munyai called for stiffer penalties on those who murder farmers before Ugenius Saga (31), Lloyd Mandumbu (30) and Tatenda Ngwenya (33) were convicted in connection with the murder of Alwyn Petrus van Zyl in 2020.
Ngwenya was also slapped with an additional 15 years for unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
The trio was convicted on charges of housebreaking, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition and common assault by the High Court of South Africa, Limpopo Division sitting in Polokwane.
In a statement, the South African Police Service (Saps) welcomed the trio’s life sentences.
“Munyai also indicated to the court the gravity of the offences, and the economic impact, stating that there is a legitimate public outcry about farm murders,” Saps said. “This will have consequences on the food supply, as farmers who are constantly under attack will end up abandoning their farming activities and the result will be hunger in an already poverty-stricken country.
“During the trial, the accused persons raised an alibi and maintained they were not responsible for the offences. They denied being in possession of a blue bag, with the deceased’s name, but the State produced evidence from a thorough investigation by the police.”
The trio committed the offence on March 20, 2020 at Bad Se Loop Farm in Waterberg and were arrested on the same day.