June 11 2009 at 09:07PM
In the tsunami of crime sweeping the country a weapon of war, an AK47 machine gun, had blown away a farmer, leaving his 54 employees jobless, a Pietermaritzburg High Court judge said on Thursday.
Judge Vivienne Niles-Duner was jailing the killer of local vegetable producer, Andrew Main, 53, to life behind bars. Main had two young daughters.
Niles-Duner said it was not realised how many people were left without support when farmers were murdered. Ordinary people suffered and the damage to the economy was immense.
Main's farm stood fallow for at least six months during which time most of his former workers could not find jobs. The workers toyi-toyed at the New Hanover Magistrate's Court when Main's killers made their first appearance.
Niles-Duner told Main's murderer, Zamo Jali, 38, of Cramond, that farmer murders were a scourge, perpetrated by thugs such as he, motivated by greed and to obtain guns to commit more crimes. Main's murder had brought little booty for Jali and his co-perpetrators, Mxolizi Jali, serving 24 years' jail and Lucky Ntombela, who was shot dead when resisting arrest.
She said she hoped Jali, who had previous convictions including robbery, for which he spent nine years in jail, would spend the rest of his life behind bars.
She said he should not be considered for parole for 25 years. Jali also got 20 years' jail for Main's aggravated robbery, and two sentences of six years each for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. - Sapa