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Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, the Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, saluted the harsh punishment handed down to two farm killers. The Mpumalanga Division of the High Court, sitting in Delmas on September 13, 2023, convicted Thomas Reuben Tivane (50) and Kenneth Mashego (50) for murder and house robbery. The crimes were conducted two years ago (2020) on a farm in Rietkol, Sundra.
The sentencing of the two accused who originate from Etwatwa in the Gauteng Province stems from an incident that occurred on 30 September 2020. The court heard how on that dreadful day, the two entered the farm holdings at about 10h45 am and attacked Chantel Kershaw (44) who had just arrived from town.
According to the report, two men armed with a firearm found Kershaw as well as an employee, Themba Moses Masuku loading some equipment taken for a service, into a white Chevrolet bakkie.
Masuku was part of the orchestrated plan carried out at the farm, but it was unknown at the time of the incident. This employee reported then that he was taking out the equipment from the garage when the two accused held him at gunpoint and then forced him to take off his trousers before they tied his hands using the said trousers.
According to Masuku, he just heard Kershaw screaming outside but later it was quiet and refused any knowledge of what was happening.
The two proceeded to the house where they found Kershaw’s mother, 65 years old at the time. They assaulted her with a firearm before locking her inside one of the rooms.
They further took a domestic worker, a 48-year-old at the time and locked her inside the bathroom.
The two accused then further ransacked the house and stole mobile phones as well as tablets valued at R10 000-00.
They also took the Chevrolet bakkie and fled the scene. After leaving, Kershaw’s mother contacted the neighbourhood watch as well as the police. A chase ensued between the two accused and the team consisting of the neighbourhood watch and the police.
A few moments later, the stolen bakkie lost control and overturned on the R50 Road towards Delmas. As a result, both men were cornered and arrested. During their arrest, a firearm was recovered though its serial numbers were filled off.
Back home, Kershaw was found half naked and strangled with a rope. She was unfortunately certified dead by the paramedics at the scene.
The two accused were charged with murder and robbery. It was during the inquiry that investigators unearthed that the farm employee (Themba Moses Masuku) was in fact, an accomplice to the farm attack.
Masuku was arrested as a result and then charged accordingly. He pleaded guilty and in March this year (2023), Masuku was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.
Thomas Reuben Tivane was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and 20 years imprisonment for robbery. Kenneth Mashego was also sentenced to life imprisonment for murder as well as 15 years imprisonment for robbery.