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Klerksdorp man sentenced to life in prison, and his partner in crime jailed for 20 years

The North West High Court, sitting in the Klerksdorp Regional Court, has sentenced Thabo Thakampana 29, to life imprisonment for murder, 15 years in each of the charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, 5 years for kidnapping, 7 years for possession of an unlicensed firearm and 3 years for possession of ammunition. The sentence will run concurrently and was further declared unfit to possess a firearm.

Thakamphana was charged with murder and kidnapping along with Katleho Ramuthalane 33.

Ramuthalane pleaded guilty to robbery with aggravating circumstances and kidnapping and was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the first offence and 5 years for the second one.

The court found that the he was no longer fit to possess a firearm. The two sentences were ordered to run concurrently.

Meanwhile, Thakampana pleaded not guilty to all charges and his trial was divided.

On the morning of April 14, 2019, Thakampana, Ramuthalane, and a third suspect, who is still on the run, were drinking at a tavern in Kanana township. Later that day, they decided to go and drink in the CBD in Klerksdorp.

The group then approached David Mahlapa Sekhola, who ran a public transport service in the area, and negotiated a price for taking them to town for R150.

Sekhola was with two friends at the time, Mthakathi January Vicane and Fezile Kraai.

The three travelers decided to disembark near the Vaal Maseru bus depot.

They subsequently reported the incident and a search was conducted for evidence. The vehicle was tracked to a house in Bophelong location in Vanderbijilpark.

Thakampana was arrested on the morning of February 25 while Ramuthalane and the third suspect managed to escape, but Ramuthalane was apprehended the following day in Kanana Township in Klersdorp.

In his argument,  State Prosecutor, Benny Kalakgosi urged the court not to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence, which would result in life imprisonment.

Judge Andre Pietersen said that the courts have a responsibility to promote respect for the law by sentencing offenders appropriately. Describing Thakampana as a ruthless pewrson, his nefarious actions caused massive destruction to the family of the deceased, as well as the two surviving victims.

The North West Director of Public Prosecution praised Advocate Kalakgosi and Warrant Officer Menzile Sokhwemba for securing a favorable conviction in a court case. The criminal justice system is taking seriously violent and serious crimes, and we hope this conviction will send a message to those who commit these offenses.

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