Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati said crime had increased outrageously in KwaZulu-Natal.
This week alone she had convicted no fewer than five accused, aged between 20 and 37 years, in four cases.
Sentencing killers Nhlanhla Gumbi, 37, and Siyathemba Mfeka, 22, for the murder of Rajoo Grewan, 41, and robbing him and his wife, the judge said they had been motivated by greed.
Grewan and his wife Philele were ambushed when they stopped at their farm near Winterton in June last year.
She said the killers had shown no regard for human life.
Rajoo Grewan was taken into the mealie field and shot in the neck, apparently when he resisted. Philele Grewan was taken into the family’s home and the gang stole their vehicle.
Many violent crimes were committed by young criminals, Poyo-Dlwati said.
There could have been a different perspective if Mfeka had come clean after he was convicted and told the court why Rajoo Grewan was shot.
Philele’s life was now “full of fear”. She had lost her husband who was everything to her.
Their young son had been deprived of his father, mentor and friend, and his temperament had changed, the judge said.
The two were also handed 15-year sentences for the aggravated robbery of the Grewans.
All sentences would run concurrently with the life terms.