The African National Congress is starting its “dispute resolution process” in a bid to address the a.
Greed drove the wife of a Limpopo pharmacist to plot his murder, Judge Nico Coetzee said in the Middelburg high court yesterday.
She was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of her husband of 14 years.
The judge sentenced Kgomotso Tladi, her friend, Eva Sithole, and the two hired hitmen, Samson Mogalaka, and Gilbert Makhobela to life imprisonment for the murder of Andrew Tladi on December 4 2004.
Tladi, 34, and Sithole, 33, were also jailed for 10 years each for robbery with aggravating circumstances. Mogalaka, 31, was also sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances, six years for kidnapping, two years for possession of an unlicensed firearm and one year for illegal possession of ammunition. Makhobela, 45, was also jailed for 10 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances and four years for kidnapping.
Shortly before sentencing, Andrew Tladi's father, Mashupye Tladi, told the court that his family "will never forgive our daughter-in-law" for what she did.
Coetzee ruled that all four murderers played an equal role in carrying out Tladi's contract killing.
"All four knew what they were doing and spent some time planning the killing," the judge said.
"Tladi, Mogalaka and Makhobela did all this out of greed."
He said it was unlikely that Sithole would not benefit from the R2,6million claimed by Tladi from her husband's insurance policy because they had been good friends for a long time.
The judge said murder was a very serious crime, particularly when it was premeditated as with Tladi's death. Killing by wives of their husbands, or husbands of wives, the judge added could never be tolerated.
"The message should go out to everyone that contract killing and killing people in armed robberies were unacceptable."
The four killers stood motionless after the sentencing. Their application for leave to appeal was refused by the judge.
The slain man's family ululated and danced after the sentencing and said the ruling was "a birthday gift" for Andrew Tladi's father, who turned 71 yesterday.
Another hitman who turned state witness, Gustav Snyman, was yesterday granted immunity from prosecution after the judge found he had given an honest account of events, even where he had been heavily implicated.
Earlier, another state witness who testified in aggravation of sentence, Maropeng Setsiba, a senior manager in the pharmaceutical section of Limpopo's department of health, had told the court that Andrew Tladi had been a leader of "great distinction" and had rooted out corruption. His death was not only a loss to his 82 staff members, but to Limpopo because in the short time he had worked in the department, service delivery had improved dramatically.