Home News Man gets 28 years for Kuruman business robbery

Man gets 28 years for Kuruman business robbery

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A 32-year-old man from Batlharos village near Kuruman was sentenced to 28 years imprisonment by the Kuruman Regional Court for his involvement in a business robbery.

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A 32-YEAR-old man from Batlharos village near Kuruman was sentenced to 28 years imprisonment by the Kuruman Regional Court for his involvement in a business robbery.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Mojalefa Senokoatsane said the incident took place on February 17, 2022, when the accused, Keorapetse Kgaje, together with three unknown men, entered a shop and robbed the Bangladeshi shop owner at gunpoint.

“They pointed a firearm at the complainant and ordered him to give them money and some of his stock. The incident took place during the day while the shop was still open. The accused and his accomplices managed to take cash amounting to R3,700 and stock before they fled the scene,” said Senokoatsane.

He added that Kgaje, who was the one who was armed, remained behind and continued searching for more money.

“He instructed the complainant to give him more money and made him go to the bedroom, where a fight broke out between the two. The complainant managed to overpower the accused, disarming him and assaulting him. After the complainant had restrained the accused, the police were called to the scene.”

Senokoatsane said that upon being arrested, Kgaje denied being part of the group who had robbed the shop.

“He informed the police that he had come to the shop to buy and was mistaken by the complainant to have been part of the robbery. He denied having a gun and pointing it at the complainant. He explained that because it was his first time at that shop, he was mistaken to be part of the robbers.”

Senokoatsane added that during the trial, Kgaje was identified by three witnesses, who were at the shop at the time of the incident, as the person who was carrying the gun and was not wearing a mask.

“According to the court, these witnesses corroborated each other and no criticism could be levelled against their testimonies. The same could not be said of the accused, who testified about new versions that were never put to witnesses and could not give an explanation for this. The court found that the evidence of the complainant was truthful, honest and satisfactory. The accused’s version was rejected as he did not take the court and even his attorney into his confidence.”

Senokoatsane stated that the State prosecutor urged for the maximum sentence to be handed down as Kgaje showed no remorse for his actions.

“The court found the accused guilty on all charges despite him pleading not guilty. He was sentenced to 10 years for possession of an unlicensed firearm, 12 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances and six years for possession of ammunition. The sentences will run concurrently.“

He added that Kgaje was also declared unfit to possess a firearm.

“The court found that the extent to which the complainant had assaulted the accused and the period of incarceration awaiting trial, were compelling and caused the court to deviate from the prescribed sentences as was requested by the State.”

Senokoatsane believed the sentence validated the NPA’s commitment to fight organised and violent crimes against citizens of the country.

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