Home News Man found guilty of kidnapping, robbery and murder

Man found guilty of kidnapping, robbery and murder

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The man who provided the shoelaces that were used to strangle a motorist, who was also assaulted, kidnapped and robbed, was found guilty of murder in the Northern Cape High Court this week.

Nicholas Masiza Manci, 33, was found guilty of robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping and murder by the Northern Cape High Court. Picture: Soraya Crowie

AN ACCUSED who provided the shoelaces that were used to strangle a motorist, who was also assaulted, kidnapped and robbed, was found guilty of murder in the Northern Cape High Court this week.

The accused, Nicholas Masiza Manci, 33, was also charged with robbery with aggravating circumstances and the kidnapping of Edwin Jonathan Haai.

Haai was assaulted with a bag of tools, stabbed, kicked and strangled in an incident that took place near Kathu, Postmasburg, Olifantshoek and Danielskuil on March 17, 2019. He was tied up and thrown into the back of a bakkie that travelled around the John Taolo Gaetsewe District.

Manci’s co-accused, John Setlogelo, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.

According to the charges, Setlogelo became jealous when Haai spoke to his girlfriend at a lounge in Kathu on March 16, 2019.

Haai and the accused were driving home when a fight ensued between him and Setlogelo.

Haai was forcefully removed from the driver’s seat and placed in the back of the bakkie.

Manci and Setlogelo attempted to sell the bakkie in Danielskuil. They also searched for a place to dump the body.

The bakkie was found the following day by Haai’s family members with the use of a tracker.

It was parked in Danielskuil, where a rubber cover was pulled over to conceal the body.

Haai sustained multiple injuries to his skull, chest, abdomen, brain and lungs after he was hit with a hard object and strangled.

Nicholas Masiza Manci, 33, was found guilty of robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping and murder by the Northern Cape High Court. Picture: Soraya Crowie

Judge Albert Nxumalo stated that Manci was an accomplice who stole Haai’s vehicle by force.

“The deceased was inhumanely and violently assaulted and robbed of his cellphone and motor vehicle. The accused never attempted to release him from the back of the bakkie, where his legs and hands were bound. He was kicked and assaulted with objects obtained from the bakkie while his head hit the tarmac. The accused gave Setlogelo his shoelaces, which were used to tie him up and strangle him.”

He stated further that, according to the accused, they only wanted to strangle Haai so that he would “pass out momentarily”.

Nxumalo pointed out that the accused left Haai abandoned in the veld and went to the garage in Olifantshoek to refuel the car.

“Even if he had reported the incident to the police, it would not have improved his situation.”

He added that although the murder did not appear to be premeditated, the accused benefited from the sale of the deceased’s cellphone, which was valued at around R2,000.

“The accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges.”

State advocate Theunis Barnard said that the accused had previous convictions of theft, robbery and assault GBH dating back from 2005 to 2012.

The legal representative for the accused, advocate Renier Pieterse, said his client was not ready to be sentenced this week, as he was very emotional after being handed the guilty verdict.

The matter was postponed until November 4 for sentencing procedures.

The father of the deceased, Michael Haai, welcomed the verdict and believed it would help to bring closure to the family.

“My son’s unnecessary and violent death has been very difficult for the family, where both my wife and I had to take early retirement.”

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