Three Zimbabwean men have been sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of ammunition and common assault.

The High Court of South Africa: Limpopo Division, Polokwane heard that Ugenius Saga (31), Lloyd Mandumbu (30) and Tatenda Ngwenya (33) committed the offences on 20 March 2020, at Bad Se Loop farm in Waterberg.

The three intruded the farm-house, assaulted and killed Zyl (79) and severely injured his 66-year-old wife, before they stole a number of valuable items including cellphones and fled the scene.

Below is the statement from the National Prosecuting Authority.


26 APRIL 2022


The deceased Alwyn Petrus Van Zyl, was sleeping with his wife when the accused arrived and attacked them. The deceased was tied with a rope and several items were taken, amongst others, a dark blue cooler bag marked R Van Zyl, a red high output air pump, a silver Tasco binocular, a black and yellow bag containing ventilated touring tent. The deceased was killed according to the post-mortem report, and the cause of death is external neck compression. The state alleged that the murder was premeditated and that the three accused acted in the furtherance of a common purpose when committing the offences.

During the trial, the accused persons raised an alibi and maintained that they are not responsible for the offence. They denied being in a possession of a blue bag, with the deceased’s name. The state submitted that the evidence provided by the police linked the accused and further submitted that the court must consider the evidence provided in aggravation of sentence, the state Adv. Nkhetheni Munyai indicated to the court the gravity of the offences, and the economic impact, stating that there is a legitimate public outcry about farm murders. This will have consequences on the food supply, as farmers who are constantly under attack will end up abandoning their farming activities and the result will be hunger in an already poverty-stricken country.

The court agreed with the submissions of the state and found that there were no substantial and compelling circumstances, and imposed life imprisonment for murder, 15 years for each accused on a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstance, five years for each accused on charge of housebreaking with intent to rob, one year for each accused on charge of assault, 15 years for Tatenda Ngwenya on a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.

The NPA welcomes the sentence and hopes that the sentence will send a strong message to the offenders who are killing farmers. The Director of Public Prosecutions applauds the good work of the Heritage Protection Group, the police officers and Adv. Munyai for a job well done.