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Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Mthokozisi Jali pleaded guilty to Andrew Main's murder, breaking into his house and aggravated robbery and possession of an AK-47 assault rifle.

13:43 |

Mthokozisi Jali, 34, of Durban, was pleading guilty to Main's murder, breaking into his house and aggravated robbery and possession of an AK-47 assault rifle.Cramond farmer Andrew Main, 53, could have been overpowered and robbed instead of being shot dead on sight, a member of the gang that killed him admitted in the Pietermaritzburg High Court. Main was shot dead as soon as he got out of his vehicle at his home last September. Jali is the second of his gang to plead to crimes relating to the incident. On August 26, Mxolisi Gcabashe pleaded guilty to possession of the murder weapon, the AK-47, and was jailed for seven years. A third accused, Mzamo Wiseman Jali, 36, of Cramond, is to stand trial on charges arising from the incident on February 2. A fourth member of the gang, Lucky Ntombela, who Jali alleged had shot Main with the AK-47, was shot dead when he and a policemen wrestled for a gun in an escape bid.Judge Thumba Pillay said he wanted to carefully consider the sentences he should impose, which he will do on Thursday. State counsel Prettygirl Ngcobo asked for the life sentence, saying Jali had been sentenced to 10 years' jail for robbery in 1996. Ngcobo said Jali had admitted during cross-examination that his gang had planned to rob Main of his guns so that they could commit other crimes.Divesh Mootheram, of the Legal Aid Board, said that Jali's remorse in pleading guilty, his apology to the bereaved family and the possibility of rehabilitation were substantial and compelling circumstances, allowing the court to deviate from the prescribed life sentence.Jali said the gang had waited for Main to park his vehicle. As he had alighted, Ntombela had fired and the farmer fell."We examined him; he was dead. We took his keys and Lucky unsuccessfully tried to open the door of Main's home. We broke a few door panels. Mzamo Jali and Lucky went in."They emerged with three firearms and placed them in Main's vehicle."We left in Main's vehicle, driven by Lucky."

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