The distraught widows of two Pretoria North men who fell victim to a murderous gang of house robbers yesterday consoled each other after their husbands’ killers were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Judge Bert Bam sentenced Danford Ngwazi, Moses Ndlovu, Johannes Phiri and Trust Innocent Moyo to two life terms in prison for the October 2015 murders of school principal Mlandu Mnguni and Marius Els, who were both shot dead during home invasions in the north of Pretoria.
The four gangsters were, in addition, sentenced to between 63 and 93 years’ imprisonment on charges ranging from attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances to housebreaking and the illegal possession of firearms.
Judge Bam described them as a ruthless gang who had no respect for other human beings. They had blatantly attacked defenceless people in their own homes in the middle of the night, clearly knew what they were doing and did not hesitate to kill.
He said it was clear that the two victims were unarmed and probably already asleep when they were attacked and their widows were fortunate to have escaped with their lives.
Judge Bam said it was easy for the accused to now say that their families would suffer if they went to jail, but one wondered why they did not take that factor into account when they committed the crimes.
The fact that Ngwazi drove a late-model Toyota RAV4 at the time of his arrest showed that these gangsters had lived on crime, he added.
Mnguni’s widow Lebogang and Els’ former wife Liza were both in tears and consoled each other after their husbands’ killers were sentenced.
“God says let’s forgive, but it’s hard,” Liza Els said.
Mrs Mnguni said her husband would not have harmed a fly. He was respectable, peace-loving and meant everything to his family.
“I so wish these boys knew who he was and how much they have broken our family.
“How I wish I could explain the pain they caused to my daughter and my autistic son, who does not understand what happened to his father,” she said.