All eight men accused of the murder of Sabata Petros Chale were found guilty in the North West High Court on Tuesday.
In delivering judgment, Judge Ronnie Hendricks said the state had proved its case against Aubrey Seitsang, Sibonile Sobopha, Herbert Baqhesi, William Nyenyane, Samson Gqwetani, Gift Luveli, Luvo Soyizwaphi and Mzolisi Mbulana beyond a reasonable doubt.
Hendricks rejected the men’s claims that they did not participate in killing Chale, 39, allegedly over the allocation of low-cost housing in Marikana West.
“All the accused attended the meeting at the Marikana police station on December 8, 2016. It is quite striking that none of them saw each other. Ironically, they all left and went home after the meeting. None of them knew the deceased as testified by Mr [Mpumelelo] Xakumbisa and Ms [Josephine] Tayitayi. Some admitted they knew Xakumbisa, and others denied knowing him,” said Hendricks.
Chale was hacked to death with spears and pangas. He sustained several stab wounds. The court heard that his attackers drank his blood after he was killed.
Lead investigator Warrant Officer Victor Ramorwesi told the court previously that the men were arrested after witnesses saw them stabbing Chale to death.
Advocate Cain Nontenjwa appeared for the state and Eric Marx for the accused.