Call for life sen­tence for stu­dent’s killers

Post - - NEWS - BONGANI NKOSI and PAULETTE JAKOPHI

THE STATE wants the two killers of Jaishika Amtha, a Uni­ver­sity of the Wit­wa­ter­srand post­grad­u­ate stu­dent, to be jailed for life.

Alexis Marais, 34, and Sharon du Preez, 50, a les­bian cou­ple, mur­dered Amtha, 23, in her Le­na­sia home on March 17, 2016. She was shot twice in the head.

Sev­eral items, in­clud­ing her fa­ther’s firearm used to shoot her, were stolen.

Marais and Du Preez, who were ar­rested in Al­ber­ton more than a month later, have been found guilty of mur­der, rob­bery and il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of a firearm and am­mu­ni­tion.

Judge Cor­nelius van der Westhuizen heard pre-sen­tenc­ing ar­gu­ments in the Jo­han­nes­burg High Court on Wed­nes­day.

Prose­cu­tor David Moth­ibe called on the court to hand the pair a life sen­tence for mur­der, 15 years for rob­bery and three years for the il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of a firearm and am­mu­ni­tion.

“The court should im­pose a se­vere sen­tence, a sen­tence that would send a mes­sage that these types of of­fences are pun­ished,” Moth­ibe said.

Amtha was study­ing for her Mas­ter’s de­gree in phar­macy at Wits.

“The coun­try was robbed of a young woman, who would have played a role in so­ci­ety,” Moth­ibe said.

Amtha’s par­ents, in a vic­tim im­pact re­port read out in court, said they hoped for the harsh­est pos­si­ble sen­tence.

The killers’ lawyers said their clients were ideal can­di­dates for le­nient sen­tences – they were first-time of­fend­ers, in­tox­i­cated at the time and the mur­der could not be proved to be pre­med­i­tated.

Sen­tenc­ing is ex­pected next month.

JAISHIKA AMTHA

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