Police have welcomed the life sentences handed to each of the three men who murdered a Pretoria magistrate in Bronkhorstspruit.
Thomo Michael Ngoato (29), Paulos Fourie (35), and Thato Surprise Maringa (40) were all found guilty of the 2018 murder of magistrate Victor Mabunda on Thursday.
The three were sentenced in the Pretoria High Court.
“Mabunda was found murdered on 10 January 2018, in Bronkhorstspruit,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters.
“He had been followed from his office at Cullinan court to his home in Bronkhorstspruit before he was shot and killed while still in his car parked in the driveway.”
Peters said police investigations later revealed Mabunda was, at the time, presiding over a case in which one of the three accused, Ngoato, had been arrested for and found guilty of selling drugs to prison inmates.
“Ngoato was a prison warder at the time,” she said.
“Mabunda was murdered before he could deliver sentencing.”
Within three weeks of Mabunda’s murder, police arrested two of the murderers.
“The third was arrested on 2 February 2018.”
Peters said the investigating team ensured none of the men were granted bail and in October, the case was escalated to the Pretoria High Court.
“All three were found guilty of the murder and were each handed a life sentence on Thursday.”
Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela welcomed the sentencing.
“We appreciate the delivery of watertight cases that ultimately ensure that perpetrators are handed long term sentences by our investigators,” Mawela said.
“We want to encourage our investigators, particularly those still coming up in the ranks, to always strive for quality investigations.”
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