The horrific murders of six Modikwa Platinum Mine’s workers shocked the whole country back in 2018.
On Monday, one of the four accused in the violent murders was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
The Polokwane High Court sentenced Kgaugelo Moime aged 30, to twenty-five (25) years imprisonment for each count of murder and ten years imprisonment for each count of attempted murder. He pleaded guilty to six counts of murder and 48 counts of attempted murder.
“The sentences emanate from an incident that occurred on Monday, 2 April 2018 at about 20:00, where a group of workers were travelling on a bus to Modikwa Platinum mine in Driekop outside Burgersfort when it stopped at a bus stop to collect others.
“Unknown suspects pretending to be mineworkers then got into the bus and set it alight, using highly flammable liquids,” said Limpopo SAPS spokesperson Col Moatshe Ngoepe in a statement.
Six workers were burnt beyond recognition in the incident.
According to Ngoepe, the perpetrators then jumped out leaving the bus already engulfed in huge flames.
“Four men and two women were burnt beyond recognition after this fiery attack and 28 others got injured, while others survived.”
The SAPS opened cases of murder, attempted murder and malicious damage to property.
Following the horrific incident, the high-level Provincial investigation team was established to track down these heartless killers and after two sleepless nights, five suspects aged between 21 and 30, were nabbed at different locations. The fifth suspect was released after he could not be positively linked to the incident.
The case was allocated to Detective Sergeant Sydwell Mashele of the Provincial Investigation Unit. After thorough investigations by this Mashele, the accused were all positively linked to this incident and subsequently, this first one was sentenced.
The other three accused Sipho Khumalo aged 29, Philemon Makwana aged 35 and Thabo Mokgala aged 29, will have their trial in April 2020.
Limpopo Provincial Police’s commissioner Lt Gen Nneke Ledwaba has welcomed the sentences and has commended the SAPS’s Provincial Investigation Team on a job well done.