The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane, welcomed life imprisonment sentences handed down to four accused by the North West High Court sitting in Klerksdorp on Wednesday, 5 June 2019.

The accused’ sentencing emanated from an incident wherein a 63-year-old businessman, Abo Kooreshi, was brutally murdered at his residential place in Noordpark, Wolmaransstad, on Sunday, 23 July 2017.

Kooreshi was at his residence in the evening with his 60-year-old wife and his daughter, 27, when four men forced entry into the house. The men then grabbed the victim and his family and tied them with electric cords, before demanding money. It came out during the proceedings that although Kooreshi gave the accused the money that was inside his safe, they demanded more. When they did not get more money, one of them went to the kitchen and came back with a knife which he used to slit Kooreshi’s throat in the presence and full view of his wife and daughter.

The accused ransacked the house and took a laptop, cellphones as well as jewellery. It was heard that Kooreshi’s daughter gave the accused her father’s bank card and pleaded with them not to kill her and her mother. The accused fled the scene with the family’s KIA vehicle with Kooreshi’s wife and daughter inside. They went to the bank where they withdrew an undisclosed amount of cash before driving to the N12 where they dumped the pair in the veld. The family’s vehicle was found abandoned 16 kilometres away from Wolmaransstad.

Through diligence and proper investigation by the Provincial Organised Crime, one suspect was arrested and properties belonging to the family were recovered on Saturday, 28 July¬† 2017. Three other suspects were arrested on the same day in Welkom and Wedela respectively. Further investigation led the police to Vryburg. While in Delareyville on the way to Vryburg,¬† the police spotted and stopped another suspect. During the search, the police found the suspect in possession of the victim’s bank card, 9mm Browning pistol, firearm and .38 Special firearm as well as ammunition.

Bonisile Spaydile, 50, George Makhobosi, 43, Joseph Mandlathi, 39 and Sibonelo Mlambo, 30, were all sentenced to life imprisonment for murder. They were further sentenced to 15 years each for armed robbery, five years for kidnapping and three years for theft. Mlambo was given an additional eight years for possession of a firearm and one year for possession of ammunition.

All the sentences will run concurrently with the life sentence. All accused were declared unfit to possess a firearm in terms of Section 103 of the Firearms Control Act, 2000 (Act No.60 of 2000). The fifth suspect was released because there was no evidence to link her to the case.

The Provincial Commissioner applauded the investigation team and all other role players for their commitment that resulted in the conviction.