Farmer's widow angry killer didn't get life

Ingrid Oellermann, The Witness

Pietermaritzburg - The widow of murdered Underberg farm sitter Ian Fellowes, 73, said she felt “sick and shocked” his killer wasn’t given a life sentence.

Acting Judge Sibusiso Mngome­zulu, sitting with an assessor, sentenced Mthokozisi Mtolo, 21, to an effective 22 years in jail on Thursday.

“I am so angry I don’t know what to say,” Fellowes’s distraught widow, Ann, told The Witness.

She said she knows her husband cannot be brought back to life, but she expected the maximum sentence for his killer.

This was especially because she believes Mtolo showed no remorse and was “laughing and smiling” at other people in the gallery the previous day, she said.


Fellowes, who was supported by her friend, Aileen Leroux, said she saw the postmortem report for the first time on Wednesday and was shaken to see that not only was her husband shot, but he was also stabbed. “That was just so vindictive … so cruel,” she said.

Leroux said Ian Fellowes was an “amazing, loyal and kind” person and admired as a capable farmer.

The couple have a son, Craig, and daughter, Debbie.

Fellowes farmed for most of his life in the Swartberg area and also managed a farm at Himeville.

He and his wife had moved to Howick, and he was farm sitting at Ringstead farm when he was murdered.

The Underberg farming community was in an uproar over the murder, which followed on the heels of the brutal killing of Dan Knight in the same area.


Acting Judge Mngomezulu said on Thursday he was satisfied there were reasons justifying a sentence less than life for Mtolo.

Mtolo was a “relatively young man” and there was hope he could be rehabilitated, he said.

“You basically pleaded guilty and cut short a potentially protracted trial,” he added.

The judge said crimes like Mtolo’s are responsible for scaring away potential investors, affecting the economy and creating unemployment, which in turn leads to more crime.


Earlier, the judge said he didn’t consider Mtolo was genuinely remorseful for killing Fellowes.

He initially only pleaded guilty to illegally possessing firearms and ammunition he claimed he found in Fellowes’s abandoned bakkie after it crashed at Bulwer.

It was only after his brother, Siyabonga, testified that he had confessed everything to him that he “effectively pleaded guilty”.

- The Witness
Kobus Hattingh 2014-08-15 10:49:04 AM
The only solution in this country would be to bring back the death penalty.
David Van Schalkwyk 2014-08-15 10:49:41 AM
SA justice system, you got to love it...
Zuma Etolls 2014-08-15 10:50:55 AM
And he will be out in 5 years. He is carrying out the ANC's orders. Farmers need to either try leave this country that does not want them, leave the indigenous to starve as they deserve, or be well armed and vigilant and shoot to kill. Do not expect the "government" to protect you. They cant even protect our rhino.
James Smythe 2014-08-15 10:54:50 AM
I have long ago made my own oath to myself - any who kills my loved ones will certainly die an unnatural death at the hands of unknown persons - no matter how long it takes. Vengeance is a dish best served...anyway at all!
Andre Burrows 2014-08-15 11:05:04 AM
Why so quite on this Tony? You are a terrorist scumbag just like your Gamas brothers, your mother never taught you to dress properly and the people do not like you.
Werner Nel 2014-08-15 11:06:23 AM
The ANC's laughable "Might of the LAW!"
Totch Totch 2014-08-15 11:08:37 AM
Ewald van den Heever 2014-08-15 11:09:43 AM
OK - Judge "cut short a ... protracted trial", does not give reason to lesson sentence for murder. "Crimes like .... scaring away potential investors" surely the loss of life is even more important "No Remorse" - that says it all, what is the hope of rehabilitation here. And then 22 year sentence ? With Parole > how long before is is out killing again?
Tauriq Hercules 2014-08-15 11:16:54 AM
Mtolo was a “relatively young man” and there was hope he could be rehabilitated- seems legit
Sitch Nkululeko N 2014-08-15 11:34:28 AM
That's the cruel cold hard facts of our justice system. You cruelly butcher someone you get 10 years parole in 5 years and that's about it. But Oh go and torture a hyena and run after a rhino the chances are you will get life for that than taking someone's life. I say Kill him and ask him questions after his obituary.