The Pretoria High Court sentenced Sylvester Martin (34) and Fabian Randalls (33) from Eesterus to life imprisonment for premeditated murder, 8 years direct imprisonment for attempted murder, 5 years direct imprisonment for unlawful possession of firearm and 5 years direct imprisonment for unlawful possession of ammunition each. They were both declared unfit to possess a firearm. On 13 August 2021, while the three complainants in the matter were standing outside one of the complainant’s houses, both Martin and Randall got out of a motor vehicle that had stopped a few meters away from the complainants and began to fire multiple shots at them. Two of the complainants managed to run inside the house while the deceased who was left behind was shot several times. After Martin and Randall fled the scene, the deceased was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead on arrival while one of the complainants sustained four gunshots on both his thighs. Both Martin and Randalls, handed themselves over to the police after a case was opened against them on 26 September 2021.

In court, both Martin and Randall through their attorney asked the court to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence and asked the court to hand them 10 years direct imprisonment for premeditated murder and 5 years each for unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition. However, state prosecutor, Adv Lawrence Sivhidzho told the court that both Martin and Randalls committed a serious crime which left the children of the deceased with no father figure. Furthermore, Eesterus is a gang-infested area and if the court deviates from the prescribed minimum sentence, the community might resort to violence. Lastly, both their actions were brutal and deliberate therefore the prescribed minimum sentence should be imposed.

When handing down the sentence the judge said, both Martin and Randall were not first-time offenders, Martin committed these offences while on parole after he was sentenced for murder in 2013, and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in 2006, and that Randal had a previous conviction stock theft and was sentenced in 2016. She also agreed with the state that such crimes are prevalent in the Eesterus area that deviating from the prescribed minimum sentence will undermine the plight of crime the area is facing, and that the community is looking to the court to protect them from such crimes. As such she did not find any compelling and substantial circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *