Sunday, 14 June 2009

'This was a cruel and callous crime'

June 12 2009 at 08:14PM

By Sherlissa Peters

In a hard-hitting judgment, Pietermaritzburg High Court Judge Vivienne Niles-Dunér sentenced one of the men responsible for the murder of Crammond farmer, Andrew Main, to life imprisonment on Thursday.

Wiseman Mzamo Jali, 36, was found guilty of murder, robbery and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

He was found not guilty of possessing a fully automatic rifle, because the evidence did not prove this beyond reasonable doubt.

Main, 54, was shot dead with an AK-47 rifle outside his Gilmore Farm on the night of September 23, 2007.

In aggravation of sentence, the court heard that Jali was a repeat offender and had previous convictions of housebreaking, escaping from custody, possession of drugs and unlawful possession of fire-arms and ammunition, all in April of 1996.

He was also convicted of robbery in October 1996, when he was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment.

Jali was released on parole in January 2005.

His parole period ended in March 2007, and he was arrested in September for Main's murder.

State prosecutor Elsa Smith told the court that Main was a productive member of society whose vegetable farm supplied major outlets such as Spar and Pick n Pay in the greater Pietermaritzburg area.

In her judgment, Niles-Dunér said it was clear that Jali had not learned from his past mistakes.

"This was a cruel and callous crime and the use of an AK-47 rifle in circumstances such as this is outrageous," she said. This was a weapon of war and not only did they use the rifle to induce submission from Main, but also to blow his body away.

She described Jali as a menace who should be removed from society for as long as the law would permit.

Jali will have to serve at least two-thirds of his sentence before being considered for parole.

In a parting shot to Jali, Niles-Dunér said she was obliged by the law to fix this non-parole period, but it was her personal wish that he remained in jail for the rest of his life.

Added to his life sentence for murder, Jali was sentenced to a further 20 years for robbery and six years for the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

This article was originally published on page 3 of Daily News on June 12, 2009


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