“Real men don’t do what they did.”
Regional Magistrate Ian Cox had harsh words on Tuesday before he jailed Gideon Fourie (27) for 15 years for the murder of Daniel Botha.
Botha, an East Rand man and his parents’ only son, was assaulted so badly in the early hours of the morning in July 2018 at the Dingo’s Pub in Benoni that he was later declared brain dead.
Jacques de Lange and Sampie Hearn were each sentenced to five years in prison, of which two years were suspended for five years.
De Lange and Hearn will be eligible for correctional supervision after serving ten months of their sentence, Cox ruled this afternoon before the three men were escorted to the cells of the Benoni Regional Court.
De Lange was visibly upset.
The so-called nightclub murder case was on the court roll for almost five years before Fourie was found guilty on charges of murder in February. Fourie was the one who, among other things, elbowed Botha on the fateful night.
Botha’s parents are also convinced that Fourie strangled their son that night. Fourie still denies it.
De Lange and Hearn were in turn found guilty of assault with intent to seriously injure after they repeatedly kicked an unconscious Botha on the dance floor on the night in question.
“The three defendants may all be first offenders as far as police records are concerned, but the evidence shows that they have a history of violence,” Cox said during sentencing.
It was argued during the trial that the three often got involved in fights with Dingo’s.
A fight in the early morning hours of 26 July 2018 finally cost Botha’s life after Fourie insulted Charlene Maré, Botha’s friend who went to the hangout with him on the evening in question.
Botha stepped closer and suggested that he and Maré go home before Fourie hit and strangled him without warning.
“What kind of man, a real man, treats a woman the way Gideon treated Charlene that night?” Cox said.
“What kind of man beats another man for no other reason than because he can?
“What kind of man kicks a helpless man… because he can?
“Are these real men?
“Is that something to be proud of?
“No, I don’t think so,” Cox finally replied.
Cox further said the three accused were arrogant at the time of the incident. “They thought they were untouchable.”
Cox also found that Fourie, De Lange and Hearn showed no remorse for their actions and were consistently dishonest.
“We still haven’t heard the truth.”
During his verdict, Cox said that it is happening more and more that young men swing fists at recreational places and end up taking a life.
“It has to end. A clear message must also be sent that this will not be tolerated. It does not belong in a civilized society,” Cox said firmly.
All three offenders’ legal representatives have already indicated that they will appeal against the verdict.
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