Almost three years after Dries Nieuwoudt and his wife, Mariana, were ambushed on their smallholding near Hammanskraal shortly before Christmas in an attack that claimed Dries’ life, their attackers were severely sentenced.
On Friday, Lawrence Makhubela was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Dries, seven years for the attempted murder of Mariana, as well as 15 years imprisonment for robbery, another five years for possession of an illegal firearm and five years imprisonment for the illegal possession of ammunition.
His accomplices, Jacob Maponyane and Cornelius Makatu, were in turn sent to prison for life for murder, seven years for attempted murder and 15 years for robbery.
The three were on parole at the time of the attack.
RNews reported at the time that Dries and Mariana were attacked on Monday 21 December 2020 on their farm near Hammanskraal. However, they were only rushed to help on Wednesday after Mariana was able to break open the door of the bathroom in which she was locked and call for help.
Dries died soon after.
Jacques Broodryk, AfriForum’s spokesperson for community safety, says the civil rights organization is grateful for the thorough investigative work that led to the sentencing, “especially for the local security structures that acted in readiness after the attack”.
AfriForum supported family members of the Nieuwoudt couple in court this week.
“Although nothing can fill the void that the loss of a loved one leaves under such circumstances, we hope that the Nieuwoudt family can begin their path of healing now, knowing that the three murderers will be behind bars for a long time.”