July 27 2007 at 05:03PM
A man convicted of killing Indwe farmer Johannes Labuschagne last year was sentenced to life in prison by the Grahamstown High Court on Friday.
Sentencing Ludwe Mdyesha, 24, for murder, Judge Jeremy Pickering described the crime "as brutal and callous in the extreme".
"You shot him once and as he crawled away, and despite his pleas for mercy, you followed him and shot him again."
Labuschagne, 61, was murdered on his Vredepoort farm on March 6, 2006, when he returned from Indwe and found the three men ransacking his house.
He was shot once in the neck and then in the head, and died as he was being taken to a local hospital.
Judge Pickering also gave Mdyesha 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances, and three years for the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
These sentences will run concurrently with the sentence imposed for murder. He is currently serving an eight-year sentence for assault and two counts of unlawfully escaping from custody.
Mdyesha was escorted into court wearing handcuffs and leg irons.
His two co-accused - Mkululeko Tyiwa, 18, and Unathi Mbwana Thompson, 20, also from Indwe - were sentenced to three years in prison.
Tyiwa was sent down for housebreaking with intent to steal and theft, Mbwana for the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
None of the men showed any reaction on hearing their fate.
The three men robbed Labuschagne of two revolvers, a DVD player, video cassettes, tools, kitchen appliances, clothing, wallet, cellphone, boots and shoes.
All the items were recovered by the police who arrested the men near Indwe shortly after the murder.
The judge said the murder had had a devastating effect on Labuschagne's family and they were struggling to make ends meet.
"Theirs was a great loss and a traumatic experience. The deceased was a role model to his children."
Mdyesha's application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence was denied. - Sapa