North West trio found guilty of aggravated robbery, murder

The High Court of South Africa, North West Division, sitting at the Ga-Rankuwa regional court, found three men guilty of the murder of Sam Mbatha.

The court further postponed the matter to July 25 for sentencing.

According to Henry Mamothame, of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPAs), the trio face numerous charges. Arthur Khoza (19), Mahlatsi Nkuna (21) and Thato Mosetla (22) face charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances. They’re also charged with kidnapping, murder, malicious damage to property, and defeating the ends of justice.

“These charges are linked to the gruesome death of 24-year-old Sam Mbatha,” Mamothame said.

The state, through Advocate Nangamso Goloda, closed its case after leading evidence through five witnesses. They testified on incidents leading to Mbatha’s death.

Guilty as charged

Judge Frances Reid found the three guilty on all charges against them.

The trio was arrested following an intensive investigation by the police, which linked them to the murder of Mbatha.

Police investigations led them to a house in the Phutha section near Klipgat on June 21, 2021. They found bloodstains on the floor, under and on top of a bed, as well as on a carpet.

Mamothame explained that an axe suspected to have been used during the commission of this crime was found on top of the roof of the house.

Judgment welcomed

“DNA samples positively identified Sam Mbatha as the deceased person. His body was found inside a burned Hyundai i20 vehicle at a soccer field. It was found in Ikageng Section on June 17, 2021.

“Mosetla was denied bail on July 7, 2022, after he initially abandoned it after his arrest. Meanwhile, Khoza and Nkuna are out on R500 bail each,” Mamothame added.

The Director of Public Prosecutions in the North West, Rachel Makhari, welcomed the judgement. She expressed hope for a suitable sentence to be imposed against the trio. This when the matter appears in court in July.

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