The murderers of Fanie (78) and Colleen (74) Engelbrecht, the couple who were brutally murdered on Mother’s Day 2018 after returning home from church, were sentenced to life in prison in the Pretoria High Court on Friday for the murders.
Julius Mapayi Goncalves, 24, and Jossias Nhalungo, 36, both of Mozambique, were convicted of the murders in February.
The Engelbrechts ‘son, Jo-An, came across his parents’ bodies on the farm Welgevonden, near Poortjie on the Gauteng West Rand, after they did not arrive in time for lunch.
Fanie’s throat was cut off and Colleen was burned with an iron and strangled with the iron cord. The culprits fled with a tablet computer, cell phone, cash and two firearms.
The two were sentenced to life in prison for each of the murders, 15 years in prison for robbery, five years each for possession of an unlicensed firearm and five years each for illegal possession of ammunition.
Nhalungo worked for the Engelbrechts for eight years and argued during the court case that he was in Mozambique during the attack. He also argued that the other attackers forced him to accept R10 000, but the court rejected his testimony.
Marius Muller, national operational coordinator of the civil rights group AfriForum, welcomed the sentences. “We are very satisfied. “If all farm murder investigations are done at this level, it will be really fantastic,” he said after the court proceedings.
He called the investigating officer, sergeant. Dalmain Morris and the state prosecutor, adv. Jennifer Cronje, for their exceptional work. Muller said there is no place for crime in the country, no matter what type of crime is committed, and that criminals need to know their days are numbered.
AfriForum’s Trauma Support Unit continuously supported the Engelbrechts’ family during the proceedings. Muller himself also testified about the effects of crime such as that on relatives and the community.
Judge David Makoba rejected the two killers’ application for leave to appeal against their sentences. The sentences are served concurrently.