Phakoe killers get 20 years, life

GUILTY: The sentencing of former Rustenburg mayor Matthew Wolmarans and his co-accused and former bodyguard Enoch Matshaba. The two were on Monday convicted of the murder of councillor Moss Phakoe. PHOTO: ANDREW MAHLABA
GUILTY: The sentencing of former Rustenburg mayor Matthew Wolmarans and his co-accused and former bodyguard Enoch Matshaba. The two were on Monday convicted of the murder of councillor Moss Phakoe. PHOTO: ANDREW MAHLABA

THE family of former ANC councillor and whistle-blower Moss Phakoe are relieved at the heavy jail sentences given to his killers.

Former Rustenburg mayor Matthew Wolmarans was yesterday jailed for 20 years by the Rustenburg High Court.

His former bodyguard Enoch Matshaba was sentenced to life in prison.

Handing down sentence, Judge Ronnie Hendricks said the two had not shown any remorse.

Hendricks told Wolmarans that he masterminded the murder of Phakoe who was his rival. "He accused you of corruption and that angered you."

Hendricks said because Wolmarans saw Phakoe as an opponent he plotted to kill him.

"You employed the service of accused one [Matshaba] to eliminate the deceased. You were clever enough not to do the killing yourself."

The judge said political tolerance was needed in a democratic country.

Phakoe's eldest daughter Karabo Phakoe, 30, yesterday said that although the family felt happy that the case was finally over, they thought the court had been lenient towards Wolmarans.

Karabo told Sowetan that her family felt that Wolmarans was the one behind the killing of their father.

"He also deserved a life sentence, Matshaba only followed orders," she said.

She said her father was killed for his loyalty.

"I am sure now that he will rest in peace wherever he is and we will also try and move on with our lives, even though we cannot forget," she said.

Karabo said her father was the sole breadwinner.

"These killers took our father away from us, they took away the only person who made sure that we ate every day," she said.

Karabo said the family went through a lot of pain during the trial.

"We were intimidated by the police at some point. The trips to court were also exhausting. We are glad that we will put everything behind us now. My father was loved by most people," she said.

Wolmarans was arrested on September 24 last year together with Amos Mataboge and Oupa Mphomane. Charges against Mataboge and Mphomane were dropped.

Phakoe was shot dead at his home in Rustenburg North in March 2009, after he had handed over a dossier detailing corruption in the municipality to high-ranking ANC officials, including secretary general Gwede Mantashe and President Jacob Zuma.

Phakoe also handed the dossier to former co-operative governance minister Sicelo Shiceka, in the presence of Wolmarans.

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X