A 32-year-old man who robbed and shot to death a security guard in 2017 in Krugersdorp, west of Johannesburg, was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Johannesburg High Court on Wednesday.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said it welcomed the sentencing of Mpho Kgopane, who faced additional charges of attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.
NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said evidence in court revealed that Kgopane and his friends were walking from a drinking establishment when they encountered Thabo Manaka who was dressed in a security uniform.
“Kgopane, armed with a firearm, approached Manaka and demanded his service pistol, and shot him twice. A month passed and Kgopane attempted to murder his neighbour, David Madlebe, by shooting and wounding him.
“The 32-year-old Kgopane was found guilty of five charges of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, attempted murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition,” Mjonondwane said.
A pre-sentence report – which was drafted by the social development department and presented by the defence – revealed that the accused worked as a cook and was from a stable family background.
In response, state advocate Faghre Mohamed presented the testimony of Manaka’s sister, detailing the impact of the murder on her family.
“He further emphasised Kgopane’s previous convictions, his lack of remorse and the cold blooded manner in which the deceased’s life was taken. The court held that substantial and compelling circumstances are absent in this matter and imposed the proportionate sentence of life imprisonment on the murder count,” said the NPA.
The court ordered that the sentences on the other counts run concurrently with the custodial sentence of life while the application by the defence for leave to appeal against the conviction and sentence was dismissed by the court, added Mjonondwane in a statement.