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Indian-origin brothers sentenced upto 25-year in South Africa

A South African court has sentenced two Indian-origin brothers, both former policemen, up to 25 years in jail for killing four persons in a "massacre" at a pub two years ago.

world Updated: Oct 03, 2010 02:50 IST

A South African court has sentenced two Indian-origin brothers, both former policemen, up to 25 years in jail for killing four persons in a "massacre" at a pub two years ago.

The duo were sentenced for killing Shawn Strydom, Nic Jansen van Rensburg, Rory Menzies and Bruce Edwards over an argument said to have started when one of the men made a comment about the size of another's genitals at the pub's toilets.

Describing the killings as "heinous", "callous", and "nothing short of a massacre", Durban High Court judge Guido Penzhorn sentenced Brian and Leon Steven to 25 and 20 years imprisonment respectively for killing Shawn Strydom, Nic Jansen van Rensburg, Rory Menzies and Bruce Edwards at the Merseyside Pub.

The two also got additional sentences of 10 years imprisonment each for attempted murder.

The court was told that the argument had started in the toilets of the pub when someone remarked about the comparative sizes of the genitals of white and Indian men, which the brothers claim was intended to be racially derogatory.

After a fracas in the parking lot at the pub, the two returned with firearms, broke down the pub door and shot at patrons at close range.

Judge Penzhorn said the brothers had shown no remorse, although their mother Ruth Moses said afterwards she had raised them to be "God-fearing".

He ordered the brothers serve out at least two thirds of their sentences before being eligible for parole.

The judge granted leave to appeal the sentence, but dismissed an application that the brothers be released on bail pending the appeal application.

The families of the victims said they could finally find closure to the deaths of their loves ones after the two-year trial.

One of them, Lee-Anne Mill, related how she had taken a job on a cruise ship to get as far away as possible in an attempt to forget Strydom, who had been her partner for eight years before he was shot dead.