“This will serve as a deterrent to potential law breakers.”
The Hawks have welcomed the double life sentences that were handed down in the Northern Cape High Court on Friday to the five men convicted for the murders of Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor Johannes Baatjies, 49 and his business partner Shuping Jeffrey Nouse, 31 in 2016.
The deceased were killed on the road between Postmasburg and Danielskuil after they were lured to a bogus business meeting.
Baatjies was shot twice in the head and once in the torso while Nouse was shot in the face and died seven days following the incident.
The accused Tshame Frank Baxane, 35, Zoniselo Richard Magawu, 40, Thompson Mncedisi Mphondomisa, 44 and Matthews Legodu, 52, were handed double life sentences for the murders.
Baxane and Mphondomisa who were also found guilty of the illegal possession of a .9mm firearm and ammunition were handed an additional four years imprisonment each.
Co-accused Richard Hasane, 37, was sentenced to an effective two 18 years imprisonment terms for the murders.
All sentences will run concurrently.
Provincial head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Major General Kholekile Galawe commended the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation team for the thorough investigation of the case.
He warned that those who continued to commit crime would be brought to book.
The prosecution that was led by senior state advocate Hannes Cloete believed that the sentences were satisfactory and would serve as a deterrent to potential law breakers.
Spokesperson for the NPA Mojalefa Senoakatse said the NPA also believed that the sentencing would provide closure to the families of the victims who continued to suffer due to the loss of their loved ones in 2016.
“The accused were found guilty of conspiring to kill Baatjies who at the time of his death was to be sworn as a DA Councilor. The motive for the killing was to ensure that Mr Johannes Baatjies is stopped from being sworn in as a DA councilor.”