21 May 2019

South Africa: Two Convicted of Killing Former Naspers' Financial Director in Brutal House Robbery

The widow of former financial director of Naspers, Eric Wiese, says the conviction of two people who killed him in a brutal house robbery in Cape Town in 2017 is a "very, very big step forward".

Sannie Wiese, who was married to the deceased for 52 years, together with loved ones, expressed relief in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday after Judge Taswell Papier convicted Nomfundo Mtshawu and Vuyolwethu Mgemane.

"Our legal system still works and I am satisfied," she said after court proceedings, adding that she was "okay" and had a wonderful support system.

Wiese was the former financial chief of Naspers and retired in 1998.

The accused, who are a couple, attacked Wiese, 80, in his Higgovale home on August 4, 2017, and tied him up so they could ransack the house.

The stolen items, which had an estimated value of R25 000, included sentimental items such as a cutlery set and pocket watch given to Sannie by Wiese's late father.

'Fervour for life'

Sannie, who had been out shopping for her son's birthday celebration, returned to find the house in disarray and drops of blood on the floor. She became scared and rang a security company to come to the house - they found his body next to a bed upstairs.

Wiese death was attributed to "manual strangulation".

Mgemane previously admitted to strangling Wiese with a tie "because he was resisting". He asked the family for forgiveness.

During the trial, Sannie had told the court about her husband's fervour for life and his excitement at being able to spend more time with his three children and five grandchildren.

Neither of the accused presented evidence in their defence. They were caught on CCTV footage at the house.

Mtshawu admitted in her plea explanation that she had followed Wiese into the house and that her co-accused hit him until he fell to the ground.

He then choked him and tied his hands together.

"This is clearly a selected, watered down version of events as they unfolded on that fateful day," said Judge Papier.

Conspired together

Given Wiese's build, Papier found it would have been impossible for Mgemane to subdue and tie up Wiese without her assistance.

The judge added that they clearly conspired to rob the house and she never disassociated herself from his actions.

"She could have left the scene and run away. She could have intervened and stopped her boyfriend from assaulting the deceased so brutally. This she did not do, but instead chose to associate herself with the actions of accused number two."

Both were found guilty of murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances. Mgemane was also convicted of housebreaking.

Mtshawu has three previous convictions for theft, while Mgemane was previously convicted of two housebreakings, theft, robbery and possession of a dangerous weapon.

The case was postponed to August 1, to obtain a probation officer's report. They will remain in custody.

Source: News24

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