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Hitchhikers-turned-killers jailed 70 years

Staff Reporter

Four youths from Phuthaditjaba who robbed and brutally killed a man who had offered them transport in May last year have been jailed for a total of 70 years by the Free State High Court.

In a statement, the police said the youths, believed to be members of a criminal group known as ‘Die Haas’ in QwaQwa, were handed the heavy sentences Tuesday after a nearly year-long trial.

The court heard that on May 25 2019, Tsimane Malakoane was brutally murdered and his body was found along Sekoto River in Tseseng Village.

His car, a red Toyota sedan, was burnt to ashes at Tsirella Village.

The late Malakoane was said to be driving from Bolata Village to Tseseng when he was stopped by four youths who pretended to be hitchhiking yet they had ulterior motives.

They are said to have travelled with him for some distance before robbing him and stabbing him to death.

“His body was discovered by members of the community who also played a role by providing information,” said the police in a statement.

The four were eventually arrested and remained in custody until they were sentenced.

Tshabang Richard Buthelezi, 18, who was a minor when he committed the crime, received a 10-year imprisonment term.

The other three, Lehlohonolo Stanley Modipa, 18, Itumeleng Moloi, 20, and Nauwe Peter Tshabalala, 27, were each sentenced to 20 years in jail.

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