South Africa News

3 life terms plus 142 years in jail for heartless killer who murdered 3 people, shot & injured 8 tavern patrons

The High Court in Polokwane has sentenced 39-year-old convicted killer Maholobela Tanki to three life sentences and 142 years in jail after he was found guilty of the brutal murder of three people.

Additionally, Tanki was also convicted for attempting to kill eight other people during a robbery committed at a tavern in Northam, in 2019.

Limpopo police spokesperson, Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba said Tanki’s accomplices were a woman who was turned into a State witness, and another 44-year-old man who was not found guilty on all the charges.

“During the trial, court heard that on October 12, 2019, at around 11.20 pm, the accused and his two accomplices went to a tavern in Thabazimbi and demanded money from the teller. In the process, some of the bystanders tried to intervene,” said Mashaba.

Tanki produced a firearm and fired shots randomly at the patrons in the tavern.

“Three were shot dead, and eight wounded. The suspects made off with an undisclosed amount of money and cigarettes. Cases of murder and attempted murder were opened,” said Mashaba.

The cases were assigned to Sergeant Monako Dikobe for further investigation.

A team of police investigators was also established to track down the trio.

“Following meticulous investigation, three suspects were arrested. Police seized one unlicensed firearm and ammunition from the accused,” said Mashaba.

“One of the accused was found not guilty, and the other turned into a state witness.”

The High Court in Polokwane sentenced Tanki as follows:

– Three life imprisonment for three counts of murder.

– 120 years imprisonment for eight counts of attempted murder.

– 15 years imprisonment for a count of armed robbery.

– Five years imprisonment for possession of unlicenced firearm.

– Two years imprisonment for possession of unlicenced ammunition.

Meanwhile, the provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has applauded the team which arrested Tanki, and the investigating officer “for ensuring that justice is well served” to the victims and their families.

“Criminals should be warned that our police officers are here to turn every stone and keep offenders in jail,” she said.


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