Murderers of DA ward councillor and friend get long sentences

The 2016 double murder of a DA ward councillor and his business partner in the Northern Cape has culminated in the sentencing of five men in the province’s high court on Friday.Johannes Baatjies (49), a former Danielskuil ward councillor for the Democratic Alliance in the Kgatelopele municipality, was found dead on the main road between Danielskuil and Postmasburg in August 2016.  He had been shot twice in the head and once in the torso.Business associate also shot and later diedAt the time of his death he was with his friend and business partner Jeffrey Nouse (31), who was shot in the face and died seven days later.According to police, Baatjies had been lured to a non-existent business meeting and decided to take Nouse along with him.The Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation team was assigned to the investigation, which resulted in the arrest of Richard Magawu (32), within 48 hours of the incident.Four of five men get double life sentencesFurther investigations led to the arrest of Mpondomisa (42), Matthews Legodi (52) Richard Hasan (36) and Frank Baxane (34) in September and October 2016.The Northern Cape High Court on Friday sentenced Magawu to 36 years imprisonment.The other four received double life sentences for the murders. Baxane and Mpondomisa also received an additional four years imprisonment each for possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition.Hours before Baatjies was to be sworn inThe Provincial Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Major General Kholekile Galawe, has commended the investigating team for their work.According to a report by Eyewitness News, The shooting took place hours before Baatjies was to be sworn in as a councillor following the local government elections in August 2016.It said Magawu was an ANC official who had failed to win a seat and ran in a different ward to Baatjies.The Kimberley newspaper, the Diamond Fields Advertiser, reported that the men were not convicted on kidnapping charges, as the State explained that it would amount to a duplication of the murder charges.A sixth accused died during the legal process.Help support journalists, the guardians of independent journalism, through our student media initiative that gives a voice to students and their generation! Find out more…
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