Farm in South Africa. File photo. Source: Pixabay

Six men accused of attacking a family, killing two, on their KwaZulu-Natal farm in 2016, have been successfully convicted and sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment. The South African Police Service (SAPS) team involved in the arrests has been praised for their “sterling work”.

Farm in South Africa. File photo. Source: Pixabay

The attack on Swart Umfolozi farm north west of Vryheid, in Gluckstadt (which means ‘city of happiness’), took place on the evening of 19 April 2016 at 20h30.

A group of armed men allegedly attacked the family killing Billy van Rooyen (37) instantly, and wounding his father, Lodewyk (76). His mother, Karlien, was not injured. Ronnie Lombard (62) was also wounded during the shooting, and later died from his injuries in hospital. The accused men stole an undisclosed amount of cash before they fled the scene.

Charges were opened at Gluckstadt police station, and taken over by the Durban Organised Crime Unit for further investigation.

“Following sterling work by the team, police officers arrested the accused and recovered three rifles used during the attack,” SAPS said in a statement late on Monday.

The police service said that the six were sentenced on Friday (12 July 2019) by the Vryheid High Court.

The accused were found guilty on two counts of murder, attempted murder, robbery, assault with grievous bodily harm, two counts of kidnapping as well as possession of unlicensed firearms.

They were each sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment on two counts of murder plus a total of between 33 and 41 years each for the other charges.

SAPS said there is a seventh accused who already serving his sentence for life imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to all crimes in November 2017 at the Madadeni High Court.