Three Mpumalanga men, including a grandchild of the trio's victim, were each sentenced to two life imprisonment terms for the brutal murder of a 60-year-old granny who was killed in 2006.
Nonhlala Reimend Ndlovu, 21, Mannford Masinga, 28, and Moses Dodoli Madonsela, all of Cunningmore A in Culcutta, near Nelspruit, were also handed 10 years in jail each on armed robbery charges.
On June 14 2006 granny Nyakweni Milina Maritsi was allegedly chopped with an axe by her grandchild, Masinga, while his co-accused looked on.
After chopping her up, the men allegedly hid the bloodied body under her bed.
The men then allegedly stole several items from the house before fleeing the scene.
Though they pleaded not guilty to all the charges, the Nelspruit regional court found them guilty of murder.
The fourth suspect, Surprise Maphangane, confessed and decided to become a state witness.
The court heard that the four men entered Maritsi's home and waited until the woman's 80-year-old husband, Johannes, a cattle breeder, left to look after his herd.
Judge Seun Moshidi said since all the men were known to the Maritsi family, they panicked and killed the granny because she could identify them.
Moshidi added that Masinga used an axe to chop his grandmother's head off.
The men later claimed that they were hired to kill the granny by a family member.
The said that they had been offered R10000 to kill the old woman.
A family member was arrested but was freed again because there was no evidence linking him to the brutal murder.
Moshidi said the reason for the murder was greed, with the proceeds of the crime being a mere R3600 in cash for each man, which was spent on booze.