14/09/2006 23:31 - (SA)
Katrien Smit, Beeld
Johannesburg - When the five men who attacked and seriously assaulted Theresia Myburgh in her home were sentenced in Johannesburg High Court to life imprisonment, she burst into tears because she felt sorry for them.
"I feel so sorry for them. I thought they would have received maybe a year or two to teach them a lesson," she said.
Myburgh was one of numerous Honeydew residents on the West Rand who were attacked and robbed by a gang of robbers between 2003 and 2004.
Myburgh was lucky to live to tell the story.
Diana Dando, Corrie Olwagen and Isak Johannes Nel were shot dead in cold blood by the gang.
Myburgh was attacked in her house on January 8 2005 so viciously that, among other injuries, her skull was cracked in nine places.
Three wanted to rape her
Her injuries resulted in loss of hearing, a speech impediment and knee and nerve problems, which she'll always have.
Three of the men also wanted to rape her, but she managed to convince them that she had HIV/Aids.
Moses Khossa, 30; Ernest Makhubela, 26; Dingaan Ntuli, 26; Brian Moguna, 25 and Siphiwe Motswagae, 21, faced charges of murder, attempted murder, housebreaking and robbery.
Khossa was given life, plus 35 years', Makhubela life and eight years', Ntuli got two life sentences and 34 years', Moguna got three life sentences and an additional 103 years' and Motswagae was given four life sentences and 91 years'.
Judge Nico Coetzee found them guilty on all the charges.
He possibly made history by sentencing all five to lifelong imprisonment on the housebreaking charges.
Passing sentence, Coetzee described their crimes as "gruesome and brutal" and denied leave to appeal against their convictions and sentences.
Myburgh said she was "very, very pleased" that the case was over after nearly three years.
'Get on with my life'
"I can now get on with my life and stop looking over my shoulder," she said.
Even though she was pleased the case was something of the past, she thought it "very bad" that her attackers - "such young guys" - would serve lifelong sentences.
"On the other hand, everyone's telling me I should be pleased, because they didn't have any sympathy with me or the other people.
"And just think of how many others could have been murdered if they hadn't been caught," said Myburgh.