The Provincial Gang Investigation Unit has once again ensured that gang affiliates in the Northern areas face the full brunt of the law by securing life sentences for two gang members. On 19 June 2016 at about 20:45, Sean Berry (30) @ Naco and his friend were standing outside Berry’s parent’s house in Barends Street, Salt Lake when three males approached them. The suspects started shooting at the duo. Berry sustained multiple gunshots to his body while the other victim (34 years) was shot twice. Berry died while on the way to hospital. The suspects fled on foot. The two accused Gregory Mali and Sherwin Grootboom were arrested about two months after the commission of their crimes and remained in custody until the finalisation of their cases
Sentencing was passed today (9/03) in the Port Elizabeth High Court on both accused. Gregory Mali (36) was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder; 10 years for attempted murder; 15 years for illegal possession of firearm and 3 years for illegal possession of ammunition while Sherwin Grootboom (26) also received life sentence for murder; 10 years for attempted murder; 15 years for illegal possession of a firearm and 3 years for illegal possession of ammunition. The sentences will not run concurrent so effectively both will serve life plus 28 years in prison.
Since 1 April 2017 to date, the Unit succeeded in securing 17 life sentences for gang affiliates and since January 2018, 14 accused were sentenced of which 3 received life sentences and a total of 202 years and 3 months was handed down to the accused for offences ranging from murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of firearms and illegal possession of ammunition.
The Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga has commended the unit on their most recent success and added that, “We are serious about bringing stability to the Northern Areas and we will not rest until those responsible for gang-related violence and criminal activities are behind bars for many years. This sentence augurs well for the SAPS because, through dedication, thorough investigations and professional prosecutions, the judicial system is working.” “The long hours, dangerous circumstances and many sacrifices made by the investigation team in ensuring that people in these areas are and feel safe, is truly appreciated,” she added.