Killer pumped bullets into victim’s head in broad daylight
A suspected gangster who executed a man in broad daylight while residents stood by helplessly, was sentenced to life in prison in the Port Elizabeth High Court yesterday.
The gang task team filled the public gallery as Judge Glenn Goosen described the grave impact gangsterism had on the lives of residents in the city’s crime-ridden northern areas. He said in most instances the perpetrators were never caught or witnesses were too afraid to testify.
“In this case, the killer was apprehended because a patrol vehicle happened to be in the area.
“Had that not been so, the accused might never have been brought to court,” Goosen said.
Peter Pietersen, a 36-year-old father of two, was arrested on March 18 last year, after he shot Randall Mabie on the corner of Friendship Street in Kleinskool.
Pandemonium erupted among bystanders and Pietersen tried to flee. He was arrested nearby.
Police confiscated a fully loaded semi-automatic pistol.
To date, Goosen said, Pietersen had shown no remorse or responsibility, and the motive for the murder – although it was clearly planned – was still unknown.
Mabie sustained three gunshots to the head. The final two shots were at close proximity, presumably while he was already lying on the ground.
“[Pietersen’s] conduct, tantamount to a cold-blooded execution, indicated a direct intention to kill. Those established facts point to a measure of planning.
“It was carried out in a way with no other result than death.”
The defence had submitted in mitigation of sentence that apart from a drug-related conviction, Pietersen was a first offender and should be treated as such.
His involvement in crime started fairly late in life, at the age of 34.
Goosen said while Pietersen at all times denied being a gangster, his photograph formed part of a police profile of suspected gang associates in the area.
“Shootings and killings of this nature are rife in the northern areas. It is a notorious fact that communities affected by this live in fear,” he said.
“It is difficult to conceive the impact crimes like this have on the community, especially the families of the victims.
“Courts in this division are inundated with cases like this and we cannot turn a blind eye to this reality.”
Goosen imposed the prescribed minimum sentence of life imprisonment for the murder, 15 years’ imprisonment for possession of an unlicensed firearm and 18 months for illegal possession of ammunition. He ordered that the sentences run concurrently.