Father of two Brentino Green, 33, of Schaapkraal, Philippi, was killed in May 2011 for owing his buddies R500 for a gun he was supposed to buy for them, but never did.
His friends, Patrick Cloete and Lukzuko Lumko, were convicted and sentenced on Wednesday at the Wynberg Regional Court.
Cloete, who had been imprisoned for five years awaiting trial, was sentenced to 18 years behind bars, while Lumko was slapped with a life sentence.
Lumko’s brother Nkululo Lumko was convicted of assault and was sentenced to one year in jail which was suspended for five years and was placed under house arrest for two years.
The matter dragged on for years due to the lawyers being changed and the inconsistency of statements.
Magistrate Jackie Redelinghuys said the two men had both played an active role in the assault of Brentino, which led to his death.
During his summary of the case, the judge said Lumko had been determined to make Brentino pay after he had given him R500 to buy a firearm which he didn’t receive.
The three men and others had been drinking at a tavern in Eagle Park and had discussed that Brentino had owed Lumko the money.
Brentino was taken to Lumko’s home in Jim se Bos in Philippi where he was beaten for several hours by different people until police arrived.
Brentino later passed away in hospital.
Redelinghuys explained Brentino’s post-mortem was so graphic he could not imagine what the victim had gone through, being beaten for hours with various items like a concrete slab and knobkierie.
“It is shocking that he could have been beaten by several people for a lengthy period,” said the magistrate.
During mitigation and aggravation of sentencing, all three accused via their lawyer indicated they wished to ask for forgiveness, but Redelinghuys said he rejected it as insincere.
Brentino’s weeping mother, Caroline Green, took the stand and said she had forgiven the men: “I have already forgiven them because I am a Christian.”