Farm attackers sentenced for murder of Engelbrecht couple

AfriForum and the organisation’s Trauma Support Unit welcome the sentence imposed by Judge David Makoba on two farm attackers in the North Gauteng High Court today. The two accused, Julius Mapayi Goncalves and Jossias Nhalungo, both from Mozambique, each received two life sentences and 25 years for the murder of Fanie (78) and Colleen Engelbrecht (74) as well as robbery with aggravating circumstances and for the possession of illegal firearms. Judge Makoba found them guilty on 7 February 2020 already, but sentencing was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Engelbrecht couple were brutally murdered on Mother’s Day in 2018 on their farm Welgevonden on the West Rand when they returned from church. Colleen was burned with an iron and strangled with its cord, and Fanie’s throat was slit. Only a tablet computer, cell phone, cash and two firearms were looted.

Marius Muller, national operational coordinator at AfriForum, today gave evidence on the brutality of farm attacks. He also testified that there had been 169 farm attacks and 23 farm murders so far this year.

“We are relieved about the sentence, but the grief will be with the family for a long time to come. Notwithstanding the sentence we will continue supporting the family,” says Magda Coetzee, trauma support officer at AfriForum’s Trauma Support Unit.

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