SA: Two life sentences for Zim man who killed Limpopo lodge owner

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  • A judge described the crime committed by the Limpopo lodge killer as “heinous, brutal and shocking”.
  • The judge slapped Andrea Imbayarwo with two life sentences for raping and killing Christine Robinson.
  • The lifeless body of Robinson was found in her bedroom, a knife still stuck in her neck.

A man found guilty of the rape and murder of a British lodge owner in Thabazimbi, Limpopo, was handed an effective two life sentences in the Polokwane High Court on Thursday.

Judge Marissa Naude-Odendaal described the crime committed by Zimbabwean Andrea Imbayarwo as “heinous, brutal and shocking”.

Imbayarwo, 32, attacked Christine Robinson at Rra Ditau Lodge, where he was an employee under the name of Andrew Ndlovu.

He subsequently went on the run for six years until he was arrested in Crosby, Johannesburg, on 30 July 2020.

The lifeless body of Robinson, 59, was found in her bedroom, a knife still stuck in her neck on 30 July 2014.

In her judgment,  Naude-Odendaal said the crime committed was a “heinous, brutal and shocking offence against an elderly woman”.

“The offence was committed on a farm and is, therefore, considered a farm murder. The manner she was murdered and found cannot be condoned.

“There is an outcry by South African society that something must be done about these kinds of crime.”

Christine Robinson.


She found that the personal circumstances of the accused were not extraordinary or compelling.

“The sentence of imprisonment will not impact on the welfare of his two kids (who are in Zimbabwe). The accused is a healthy man and does not suffer any (medical) condition,” Naude-Odendaal said.

Imbayarwo stood in the dock, staring straight at the judge until the reading of the sentence.

After a brief consultation, his lawyer immediately lodged an application for leave to appeal both the conviction and the sentence.

Naude-Odendaal dismissed the application for leave to appeal: “Another court will not come to a different view. Leave to appeal both the conviction and sentence is refused.”

Civil rights organisation, Action Society, appointed by the Robinson family as watching brief over the trial, welcomed the outcome of the case.

In a statement,  the organisation’s spokesperson, Ian Cameron, said: “We are pleased with this. Nothing less than a life sentence would serve as sufficient punishment for Ndlovu (referring to Imbayarwo) and, thus, we totally welcome the double life sentences.

“This just never should have happened in a country with 153 rapes reported daily and women murdered. Rapists and murderers, like Ndlovu, do not belong in our society.”

The outcome of the trial was hailed by the DA’s Desiree van der Walt, who attended the proceedings on Thursday.

Van der Walt told News24 the crime was an act against women and the vulnerable, especially the elderly.

“We are committed to playing a role against GBV, especially in our province, Limpopo.

“As a party, we always abide by the rule of law, and justice today was served. We are really, really happy with the outcome,” she said.