High Court in Pretoria Judge Lettie Malopa-Sethosa on Wednesday postponed the trial of Victor Mbuyseni Simango, Solomon Selekane and Collen Peter Malopo to March 11 for sentencing.
The three were convicted in December 2014 of murdering Chris Jooste and his wife Katrien and robbing them of cash and a toy gun.
The couple, both in their sixties, were shot dead while delivering stock to a spaza shop in Soshanguve. Chris Jooste was shot in the stomach while on his way back to his bakkie. His wife was shot in the chest when she tried to defend herself with pepper spray.
She managed to phone her daughter Belinda. They died on their way to hospital.
The accused were also found guilty of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
Simango was convicted of robbing the Joostes of R500 in cash while they were delivering stock in Soshanguve 16 days earlier.
A fourth accused, Nkomo Romeo Mathebula, is still being sought by the police after escaping from the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate’s Court while in custody last year.
Malopa-Sethosa earlier rejected the three accused’s protestations of innocence to the cold-blooded murders as lies and fabrications.
She said all of them had known what was going to happen and conspired to rob the Joostes.
Prosecutor Mari Marriott argued that the accused’s actions showed life had no meaning for them and they had no respect for other people’s property. Their calculated actions had devastated their victims’ family.
They denied responsibility and showed no remorse for what they did, Marriott said.
A letter by the couple’s daughter Belinda, in which she described the effect of her parents’ death on the family, was read to the court.
Nothing could have prepared her for the call from her mother saying they had been shot, she wrote.
The family could never say goodbye to her parents as they died before she arrived at the scene, which she said would forever remain imprinted in her mind.
“My whole life changed and that of my family. In an instant. One moment I had a mom and dad and the next they were gone. Dead. Shot.
“Our life was affected in a massive way. We suffered a massive loss. Two people who still had a lot of life left to live were rudely taken out of our lives,” she said.
Her parents’ death had particularly hit her son very hard, as he lived with them permanently and regarded them more as parents than grandparents.
His whole personality changed. He went from being an A student to scraping by. He was still receiving counselling.
Belinda Jooste had a job that entailed a lot of travelling, but had to relocate, causing her job to suffer.
Her elderly grandfather could not handle the shock either and went from a busy farmer to dying as an invalid in a very short period.
Counsel for Simango and Malopo argued that they were first offenders, the fathers of young children and had shown remorse.
Malopo’s advocate said his client was HIV-positive and on medication for his condition.
Counsel for Selekane argued that his client had shown remorse by crying while he gave evidence. He said Selekane was “very much sorry” for the situation that happened that day, and stressed Selekane’s version that he had not been armed and was not aware that the others were armed.