Sunday, 21 July, 2024

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Security guard sentenced to life in prison for murdering a child

The Mpumalanga division of the high court during a sitting in Middelburg earlier today sentenced a 53-year-old man to life in prison for the murder of the 14-year-old Bhekimuzi Ziko.

Sarel Petrus du Plessis (53), who was employed as a security guard, fatally shot Ziko with an unlicensed firearm on a farm in Kamhlushwa within the Nkomazi area on 5 December 2018. 

Du Plessis was arrested three days later, on 8 December, and was found guilty on 20 June last year. He had been in custody until he was sentenced earlier today.

Sarel Petrus du Plessis (53).

The court heard how Ziko, his brother and their friends were on the farm at around 16:00 on the day he was killed. Du Plessis also shot at the other children, but they managed to escape. 

He was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. On two counts of attempted murder he was sentenced to ten years in prison each, for the possession of an unlicensed firearm,he was sentenced to five years imprisonment, and for the possession of unlicensed ammunition, he was sentenced to three years in prison. 

These sentences will run concurrently with the life sentence.

The accused was further declared unfit to possess a firearm.

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