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The South African Public Prosecutor’s Office is seeking the imposition of four life sentences on Welcome Solane Boni, the man accused of murdering four young Mozambican immigrants in October 2016 using a petrol bomb at a residence in Soweto, Johannesburg.
The petition was filed this week at the Palm Ridge Court in Katlehong, about 70 kilometres southeast of Johannesburg, at the start of the trial for the murder of four young immigrants.
South African Welcome Solane Boni, 45, was the owner of the residence where the crime occurred. One of the victims was pregnant.
The prosecution has six witnesses. Young Mozambican immigrant Simon Nhantumbo, who lived with the victims and was with them on the day of the tragedy, was the first to testify, describing in detail what happened on October 4th.
In evidence, the young man said that everything began with a candid discussion between the landlord and one of his tenants, Carlitos Xadreque Tembe. The landlord then left for a while, and when he returned he said “no-one was going to sleep that night”.
Boni then broke one of the windows of the room containing Carlitos, his girlfriend Paulina Vilanculos and a couple of friends, and there was an explosion and flames. Nhantumbo said that he left his room and tried to extinguish the flames, but in vain.
Carlitos Tembe died inside the room. The other three occupants suffered severe burns and were taken to Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, where they later died.
Police detained Boni, accusing him of manslaughter. He already has a criminal record, having served seven years of a 15-year sentence for killing his own father.
Relatives of the victims are demanding life imprisonment, according to their spokesman, Alberto Tembe, who nonetheless acknowledges that this will not bring back his nephew Carlitos and the others who died. Relatives are requesting compensation from the South African government to support the children of the deceased.
The South African public prosecutor agrees with the families of the victims in relation to life imprisonment and believes that the accused will receive four life sentences as they wish. The defendant’s lawyer however promises to do everything in his power to minimize his client’s punishment. The trial continues.Source: Voa Portugues
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