Cape Town – Shortly after sentencing two convicted killers for the murder of former Naspers chief financial officer Frederick ‘Eric’ Wiese, 80, his widow Sannie said “crime is something that is unfortunately happening to everyone in the country”.
Nomfundo Mtshawu, 34, and her boyfriend Vuyolwethu Mgemane, 30, were sentenced on Thursday by Judge Taswell Papier in the Western Cape High Court. Mtshawu was handed a 25-year sentence for murder and 10 years for robbery, with aggravating circumstances. The sentences are to run concurrently, meaning she will spend 25 years behind bars.
Mgemane was handed a life sentence for murdering Wiese on August 4, 2017 and an additional 15 years for the count of robbery. Mgemane looked down immediately after Judge Papier handed down the sentence.
The deceased’s half naked body was found lying face-down on the floor in his bedroom. He was discovered by his wife, who had returned from the shops.
The widow said: “We are satisfied with the sentences meted out. It is the end of a chapter, because it has been a very long road. Such a vicious death is unfortunately something that is happening to many in the country.
“But we look ahead and hope that things will go better in the country, so that people don’t walk down the same set of steps that we did. I just hope that there will come a solution some time, because South Africa surely deserves better.”
In handing down sentencing, the judge found that although Mtshawu had pleaded not guilty to the charge of murder, she made certain submissions that placed her at the crime scene.
“You conspired and planned the break-in with Mgemane, who in his version was the main perpetrator in the commission of the offence. In your version you described depriving the deceased of his possessions.
“A report by the probation officers showed that Mtshawu accepted responsibility for the crime, showed remorse, and cried during the interview to probe the reason for the murder.
In the report, Mgemane said he only heard the following day the person had died and felt bad.
After considering all the facts, the seriousness of the crime and in the interests of justice, the judge found that there was substantial and compelling circumstances in her case to deviate from the prescribed life sentence.
Regarding Mgemane, the judge said the crime was committed while the accused was out on parole, manifesting his disregard for the law.