Dad “executed” – now they have to fight to keep murderer behind bars


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So says Magda Brits who must be with her brother, Lappies and sister, Ezanne, at the Witbank Correctional Services tomorrow to fight for Herold Mabuso to be released on parole.

Mabuso is the man who shot dead their father, Lappies Labuschagné (65) on 10 September 2003 in his Disselboom Shop on Tonteldoos.
They call it “executed”, because their father was shot through the head from behind.

“One shot through the head. A shot that clearly had to kill,” writes Magda in a piece she sent to the Middelburg Observer this week.

The three men who were involved in the murder, Mabuso, Thabo Makowane and Jan Magashwa, were sent to prison in August 2005 by Judge Claassen.
Makowane and Magashwa were each sentenced to 58 years in prison and Mabuso got 66 years.

Mr. Lappies Labuschagné was shot dead in his shop on 10 September 2003.
Judge Claassen said in his judgment at the time that “I don’t have enough words to describe my revulsion. The accused killed a 65-year-old man, who was old enough to be their grandfather.”

Mr. Labuschagné’s attackers killed him for R191.20 and a bibi pistol that was in the shop.

Magda said this week that the Minister of Correctional Services had instructed that Mabuso’s parole should be reconsidered.
The profiles of the other two have not yet come back from the minister’s office.

“Pray for us that the board will not grant the reconsideration of parole, please. We need it….”

She tells how they as a family regret the word: ‘parole’,

“Many people will say, let the person go free, he has served his sentence.”

They feel that the 16 years served of his life sentence, plus the additional eight and three years for aggravated robbery, is not enough.

The report that appeared in the Middelburg Observer in August 2005 after Mr. Lappies Labuschagné’s murderers were sent to prison for life.
“After all our fighting, and tears, anxiety and just being angry again, we have to face one of them again and scratch open all the old, unhealed scabs.”
Magda said they will fight with everything they have to oppose it.

“A murderer cannot and must not get another chance!”

She remembered the events of her father again in detail.

“Daddy on the ground with blood pouring from his head. Mom’s voice full of sadness and anguish and words that tug at your soul. ‘Treasure ball, don’t leave me…’ Mum is broken, because her friend is gone.”

Magda sadly said that they will never hear their father laugh again, hear him say good morning or feel a hug.
Their mother, Bettie, died eight years later.

“Now I ask. How do you stop the fight? How do you forgive when forgiveness was not sincerely asked for and it is just empty words from a murderer’s mouth?”

She pleaded that “we must stand together against the verdict, because sometimes, just sometimes, our own voice is not enough. For how long should we fight and why? It’s a life, a man, a daddy, a grandfather who was killed.

“That’s why yes, that’s why we will fight, so that these murderers don’t get the chance again!”

• In 2019, the family also opposed their parole application and the parole board ruled in their favour.

• Uncle Lappies’ (Pieter’s) two grandsons, Pieter (his namesake) and Johann Brits wept openly in 2020 when they received their murdered grandfather’s cross at the White Cross Monument.

On behalf of the family, they placed a new cross for their grandfather at the White Cross Monument.

The White Cross Monument was established to plant crosses in memory of victims of farm murders.

Source:https://www.citizen.co.za/middelburg-observer/news/2024/02/06/pa-tereggestel-nou-moet-hulle-veg-om-moordenaar-agter-tralies-te-hou/?fbclid=IwAR28PUmEshf8L2U4ysCXVnXNMhI3IXM9HONvA7IRTwE_gqf2_YM1YBL3SL8



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