My life is over, says businessman after wife's killers get life sentences
Pretoria - Pretoria businessman Jurie Steenberg is happy that his wife’s killers were brought to book and sentenced to life imprisonment, but said on Wednesday it changes nothing.
The two men who attacked him and his wife Riekie in the early hours of a morning on their Kameelfontein plot did not show any reaction when Gauteng High Court Judge Hennie de Vos meted out the harshest punishment to them.
Dolfie Sambok, 47, labelled by the judge as a career criminal, received an additional 60 years imprisonment, while Karabo Semake, who worked for Steenberg, received an additional 50 years imprisonment.
Riekie was shot dead in the bedroom of the couple’s home. Steenberg was shot and hit on the head as he walked out of the bedroom. He still has some shrapnel in his shoulder from the bullet wound.
He lost two wives to murder only six years apart in robberies at the Kameelfontein smallholding. His first wife, Suna, was shot six years before at the same smallholding on the morning of April 16, 2010. She later died in hospital. Her killers have not yet been brought to book.
He said he was so down and out by these events, that he is now relocating to Port Elizabeth. “There is nothing more here for me. My life is over,” he said.
Semake obtained the services of Sambok, who has been in and out of jail for various crimes, to break into Steenberg’s home.
Judge de Vos said it is clear that Semake had observed the movements of the Steenbergs inside the house and that he had gathered information where they kept money, prior to the housebreaking.
Even after killing Riekie in the bedroom and wounding her husband, the two men insisted on being shown where the money was kept. As Riekie
was dying, they carried goods out of the house and assaulted her husband. They also threatened that they would kill Steenberg if he did not show them the money.
Judge De Vos said neither men showed any remorse. He also expressed his doubt on whether they could be rehabilitated. The judge said to be rehabilitated, one had to confess the crimes first and ask for forgiveness. Both men insisted they were innocent.
Judge De Vos said he also had to look at the interest of especially the Kameelfontein community, who were plagued by crime and lived in constant fear of their own safety. They, like many other people, have spent huge amounts of money to safeguard their premises, to no avail.
The judge said people had enough of this type of conduct and it was time that law and order was restored. The judge said it was up to the courts to show criminals that they had to respect the lives and possessions of others, or feel the full brunt of the law.