Killers of tavern couple get three life terms each

A KRUGERSDORP parole officer was yesterday sentenced to three life terms for masterminding the murder of his in-laws as well as a plot to kill his wife.

Julius "Lucky" Masega, ofKagiso, and his accomplice, businessman Thabo Seerane, of Randfontein, stood in the dock expressionless as Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng handed down sentence in the Potchefstroom high court.

The two were also each sentenced to 15 years on four counts of robbery, 20 years for the attempted murder of Masega's wife Mampai, a police constable at the time of the attack. They got another 15 years for stealing her service pistol.

Judge Mokgoatlheng had harsh words for Masega.

As a "correctional officer who also served as a parole officer, Masega knew the system better and was therefore abusing it by spilling blood".

The two were originally charged with Benjamin "Minty" Mfengwane, who turned state witness, Bennet Diale, who allegedly committed suicide on February 27 at Potchefstroom Prison, as well as Ben Nhlapo, who was shot dead in Kagiso in 2008.

The three men were accused of murdering Mampai Masega's parents - tavern owners Mothibedi and Kedibone Tsemane - on August 18 2003 at Charmy's Tavern in Ikageng, Potchefstroom, in North West.

Masega and Seerane were granted leave to appeal and will be back in court next Thursday.