A suspected Port Elizabeth gang member, Preston Baadtjies (28), was on Wednesday sentenced to two life terms by the Port Elizabeth High Court after the court convicted him of a 2013 double fatal shooting.
“On 12 July 2013, two men were fatally shot in an open field in Bethelsdorp. Three accused alighted from a minibus and started shooting at the two deceased. Ivan MacDonald died on the scene while Randy Nel died a few days later in hospital,” described police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu.
“A few minutes after the incident, two suspects were arrested by police in another park in Bethelsdorp.
“When police chased after them, they fired at them. Accused Vuyani Kondile has since died while Preston Baadtjies of the Dustlifes was convicted on Friday, 8 August 2016.
He was convicted on the following charges two murder charges – life imprisonment on each; attempted murder (shooting at police) – 12 years; unlawful possession of firearm – 5 years and unlawful possession of ammunition – 1 year. The sentence of unlawful possession of firearm and ammunition will run concurrent to the life sentences..
“The sentences imposed upon criminals must be influenced by quality detective work and sound cooperation between investigators and prosecutors. The Operation Lockdown team is achieving the desired results through our successful convictions and the number of arrests made on a daily basis,” said Colonel Naidu.
Cluster Commander for Mount Road Cluster, Brigadier Ernie Neveling, has commended the investigating officer and the prosecuting authority for a successful prosecution.
He added that “the sentencing was as a result of an integrated approach by the different units within the criminal justice system. These senseless attacks and killings are a concern for the SAPS and we will not be deterred by these heinous acts in our quest to ensure that all people in the Northern areas are and feel safe”.
In the space of just five weeks, the Gang Task team secured lengthy convictions for six accused, sentenced on separate cases relating to gang violence in the Northern areas.
Image: Accused, Preston Baadtjies