Tourist killers sentenced to double life terms

Two 27-year-old men have been sentenced to two life terms of imprisonment each for an attack on a honeymooning Polish couple two years ago, police said on Friday.

Police representative Senior Superintendent Mary Martins-Engelbrecht said the men were sentenced in the Harrismith High Court on Thursday following the murder of a 27-year old Polish man and the brutal gang rape of his 24-year-old bride.

Martins-Engelbrecht said the couple were on honeymoon at the Sterkfontein Dam in the Free State on May 24, 2000, when they were attacked by five men.

They were also robbed of their belongings.

The 24-year-old woman was afterwards left for dead alongside her murdered husband.

“The police launched an intensive investigation which led to the swift arrest of all five,” Martins-Engelbrecht said.

“Two of the men later turned State witness, a third was shot and killed during an escape attempt and the remaining two, both from KwaZulu-Natal, were charged with murder, attempted murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, possession of an unlicensed firearm and the illegal possession of ammunition.”

Both Sipho Enoch Mbongwa and Nathi Edward Malinga were found guilty and were sentenced to life imprisonment each on the charge of murder, another life sentence each for rape, 18 years imprisonment each for armed robbery, 10 years each for kidnapping and a further 15 years each for attempted murder.

Mbongwa was additionally sentenced to a term of three years for the illegal possession of a firearm and a further three years for the illegal possession of ammunition. The sentences are to run concurrently.

During the trial it emerged that the two State witnesses had not participated in the crimes but had been present during their commission.
They were not charged with any crime for their role. - Sapa

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