Three killers who ambushed a Mpumalanga farmer and shot him dead in 2000 are still roaming the streets freely, despite being sentenced to 18 years in jail five years ago.
Former counterintelligence unit member Dean van Coller, Moses Mboshane and Lucky Nkosi were convicted and sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment each in June 2004 in the Nelspruit circuit court for the killing of a Low's Creek farmer, Willem van Heerden.
On that fateful night, Van Heerden, 73, was ambushed on the road between KaNyamazane and White River.
He was shot 13 times by Nkosi while Mboshane was driving alongside Van Heerden.
Van Coller promised to pay them R10000 for the killing after a business transaction between him and Van Heerden turned sour.
The three were arrested the next day and were eventually found guilty and sentenced to 18 years in jail.
But they lodged an appeal against their conviction and were out on bail pending the decision, which was only dismissed on April 30 last year.
After the dismissal, the three were supposed to surrender and start serving their prison sentences.
Instead, they are still walking freely because a warrant for their arrest has not been issued by the Nelspruit regional court.
Nelspruit police spokesman Davie Pretorius said unless the warrant was issued, there was nothing the police could do.
"Unless we get a notification from court, our hands are tied."
Department of Justice spokesperson Zolile Nqayi said yesterday: "We only became aware of the incident recently and have issued the warrant for their arrest. We expect to rearrest them soon.
"At the moment we are still waiting for the court manager Mpumi Ndlovu to provide us with the report as to why it was never issued on time."