The Free State High Court has sentenced two men to 25 years imprisonment for the murder and robbery of a resident in the Westerbloem Old Age Home in Wilgehof, Bloemfontein.
Acting Judge S. Jacobs sentenced Tshepo Smith and Thato Lefutho to 10 years imprisonment on a count of housebreaking with intent to rob and robbery with aggravating circumstances. On the murder charge, the men were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.
The sentence on the robbery count is to run concurrently with the murder charge for five years. This means that the men were sentenced to an effective imprisonment period of 25 years.
Earlier, the court held that Smith and Lefutho broke into the house of Maurina van Niekerk (89) with the intent to assault and rob her. The judge held that the assault was to render the victim unconscious so that she would not be able to stop them. The court said they ought to have known that such an assault on an elderly person could be fatal, which it turned out to be.
Van Niekerk died in hospital several days after the robbery due to head injuries. Family of Van Niekerk attended the sentencing at the court.