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Two murder accused sentenced to life imprisonment
11 November 2015
  Hartbeesfontein - The effective investigation by Hartbeesfonteindetectives led to the life imprisonment of PapikiMotabogi (27) and MaiuanePaulinoRomao (44) by the North West High Court sited in Potchefstroom on Thursday, 05 November 2015.
Capt. Paul Ramaloko, police spokesperson, said the two were sentenced to life imprisonment each for the murder of Ronel Van Eck (49) more than three years ago. Van Eck was killed at the gateto her farm at Hartbeesfontein in August 2012. She was opening the gate when she was approached by the two murderers. They stole her hand bag with an undisclosed amount of money, two cellphones and a hand gun.
Motabogi and Romao attempted to steal Van Eck’s vehicle but the police found the vehicle abandoned along the road. The Hartbeesfontein detectives spent sleepless nights investigating and following leads that assisted in tracking the case.
On 19 August 2014, Motabogi was arrested at Wolmaransstad for another case that he committed and police managed to link him to the Hartbeesfontein farm murder.The second accused, Ramao, a Mozambiquan national, fled to Gauteng after the murder of Ronel. He was arrested on 15 December 2014. They were both charged with murder and robbery.
Motabogi was given life sentence for murder and 15 years for robbery. Romao was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and 15 years for robbery, four years for possession of firearm and a year for possession of ammunitions. The sentences will run concurrently. Major General Jacob Tsumane, acting police commissioner, welcomed the sentences. He said it will send a clear message to criminals that there is no place to hide in this province. “We have no doubt that the sentence will send a clear message that police will deal effectively with those who commit crime.”
He further commended the team of dedicated members who made it possible to secure the conviction. “We commend all members who dedicated their time to ensure that the sentenced is secured against the merciless accused. Together with other role players, we will continue to ensure that those who transgress the law are dealt with accordingly,” said Tsumane.