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Justice Served: Life Sentences for Mayor’s Murderers

  • The High Court in Polokwane, Limpopo, has sentenced five individuals to life imprisonment for the murder of Municipal Mayor Moses Maluleke, along with additional charges including conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of illegal firearms.
  • The judge emphasized the severity of the crime, highlighting the ongoing suffering of Maluleke's son and declaring the perpetrators unfit to possess firearms.
  • The verdict has been welcomed by the Maluleke family and the Limpopo NPA, with hopes that it will serve as a deterrent to potential offenders. However, the family continues to call for the arrest of the mastermind behind the murder.
Justice Served

The High Court in Polokwane, Limpopo, has handed down life sentences to the five individuals responsible for the tragic murder of Moses Maluleke, the Municipal Mayor of Collins Chabane. This verdict, along with additional penalties for various other charges including conspiracy to commit robbery, murder, attempted murder, and possession of illegal firearms and ammunition, marks the culmination of a two-year trial. The convicted perpetrators—Shumani Nemadodzi, Isaac Mudau, Wiseman Baloyi, Tshianeo Munyai, and Pfhundzo Lidzebe—were found guilty of fatally shooting Mayor Maluleke at his residence in Xikundu village, near Malamulele, in July 2022.

In delivering the judgment, Judge Violet Semenya emphasized that mercy should not be extended to the perpetrators, given the brutality of their actions. She highlighted the ongoing suffering endured by Maluleke’s son, Ntokoto, who sustained injuries from the attack, with a bullet still lodged in his hips.

The sentencing reflected the severity of the crimes committed. Each accused received a 15-year imprisonment term for counts one and two, while for the charge of murder (count three), they were handed life imprisonment in accordance with section 51 subsection 1 of the criminal law amendment Act 105 of 1997. Furthermore, under Act 60 of 2000, they were declared unfit to possess firearms.

During the plea for mitigation of their sentences, the defense counsel cited the familial responsibilities of the accused, urging the court to consider rehabilitation over harsh punishment. However, the judge remained resolute in delivering justice commensurate with the gravity of the offense.

Rhangeleni Maluleke, the widow of the late mayor, expressed the profound impact of the loss on her family and the community, highlighting the senselessness of the crime. She described how her husband, who provided financial support to both their family and the broader community, was senselessly attacked at what should have been the safety of his own home. The trauma of the incident continues to haunt her, a constant reminder of the tragedy that befell her husband.

Eiteken Maluleke, speaking as the family spokesperson, welcomed the court’s decision, affirming that the sentence was fitting considering the heinous nature of the crime. The verdict, he indicated, brings a measure of closure to the family, though the pain of their loss remains.

Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, the spokesperson for the Limpopo NPA, echoed the sentiment of satisfaction with the court’s ruling. She expressed hope that the severity of the punishment would serve as a deterrent to others contemplating similar acts of violence, underscoring the importance of justice in deterring future crimes.

Despite the sentencing of the perpetrators, the Maluleke family continues to advocate for the arrest of the mastermind behind the murder, emphasizing the need for all those involved in orchestrating the crime to be held accountable for their actions.

The conclusion of the trial represents a significant milestone in the quest for justice for Moses Maluleke and his family. While the sentencing of the perpetrators provides some measure of closure, the lingering pain and trauma of his untimely death serve as a stark reminder of the devastating impact of violent crime on individuals, families, and communities. In honoring his memory, the pursuit of justice remains paramount, ensuring that those responsible are held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

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