Hitman awaits final word over contract killing for wife and her friend
WE WANT CLOSURE: "My mother died without seeing justice meted out to the person who took her son's life"
THE family of a Westonaria man on the West Rand murdered in a hit arranged by his wife five years ago will have to wait a few more weeks before his assailant is sentenced.
The Johannesburg high court on Monday postponed the sentencing of Orlando Mandoza to November 14 after the defence team, in court chambers, asked for the records of the case transcripts.
Mandoza, a Mozambican national, has been convicted for the September 2005 murder of Albert Mojapelo in Orange Farm. He was not present in court.
Mojapelo's wife Sophie Tinky Mojapelo is currently serving a life term for organising her husband's death in what has been described as a “contract” killing.
Mining executive Albert Mojapelo (47) was murdered a day before he was to receive more than R1 million in retirement and pension payouts.
The deceased's sister Sophie Ntswabule, who was accompanied by her husband Frank and younger sister Linah Lechelete said they found comfort in the knowledge that Mandoza, the hitman, was still in police custody.
“It is disappointing that the sentencing has been postponed but there is nothing much we can do. We came here expecting the matter to be finalised but unfortunately that did not happen.
“My brother has been dead for a very long time and we want closure so that we can move on.
“However, knowing that (Mandoza) is in prison and cannot escape is comforting to us,” Ntswabule said.
Mojapelo was kidnapped from his Hillshaven, Westonaria home, driven to Orange Farm where he was killed with a single gunshot wound to the head.
Sophie Ntswabule said: “My mother Annah died in June this year without seeing justice meted out to the person who took her son's life. She was 78 years old when she passed away. Even at the time of her death, she had still not fully gotten over his death”.
Ntswabule, a prison warden at the Johannesburg prison where her sister-in-law is incarcerated, said her family was trying hard not to have any negative feelings towards her.
“It is painful knowing that my brother's demise was orchestrated by someone he loved, but we have left everything to God,” she said.
Ntswabule also said she has only spoken to her sister-in-law once since being locked up.
“I spoke to her around the Easter holidays and told her that if my brother's children needed anything, they should not hesitate to tell us. I never really went into details of why my brother was killed. However, we have not heard or seen the children in a very long time,” she said.
Mojapelo and another accused, Antoinette Masuku, are currently serving life terms for their role in the murder.
Masuku's husband was also murdered, although his killers have not yet been arrested. He was killed execution-style at his Hillshaven home in July 2005.
They were sentenced on 19 June 2009.