The murderers of Lawrence Moepi learnt on Thursday that they would spend the rest of their lives in jail for their crime, just over a year after they brutally shot the forensic auditor at his workplace in Johannesburg.
Mpho Nkosi and Remember Siphoro were also denied leave to appeal by the South Gauteng High Court on Thursday. The pair were arrested months apart for Moepi’s murder on the morning of 18 October, which was initially thought to be a hit related to the high-profile investigations he had been working on. Over the period of the trial, however, it emerged that he was killed because he had been in a relationship with the mother of Siphoro’s child.
National commissioner of police Riah Phiyega praised the investigators in the case. "The team, in particular Detective Warrant Officer Abie Haynes, worked extremely hard, day and night, to uncover those who were behind Mr Moepi's death.”
According to a press release from Phiyega’s office, Siphoro was also found guilty of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. This was for attacking Moepi's girlfriend, with whom Siphoro had previously been involved in a relationship.
“He got very angry when he found out that his ex-girlfriend was dating Moepi. He phoned Moepi on several occasions warning him to stay away from her,” read the statement.
A R100 000 reward was issued for help in the case, and police spokesperson Solomon Makgale said on Thursday they could never have secured this victory without the public's help. “The people that assisted us will share the reward money.”
SizweNtsalubaGobodo, a leading auditing firm, launched its own private investigation shortly after the murder, soon revealing evidence to the police that the crime was not work-related.
CEO Victor Sekese said in a statement: “two days after the shooting, our SizweNtsalubaGobodo forensic team began their investigation. And after working tirelessly to uncover new evidence, within just over a week they were able to present their findings to the police. I am pleased to say that all the evidence collected and presented by SizweNtsalubaGobodo to the police on 29 October is conclusive with their findings and has led to the arrest of a key suspect.”
Siphoro was arrested first at the end of November last year, while Nkosi was only arrested in KwaZulu-Natal in September this year after being on the run for all these months. Phiyega’s statement identified Nkosi as the shooter, while Siphoro drove the car in which they were travelling on the fateful morning.