Life sentence for two 'friends' who killed Cape Town mom Zarah Hector

Family members of murdered Kuils River mother Zarah Hector say they have found closure now that two friends convicted of her murder have been sentenced to life behind bars.

Western Cape High Court Judge Lister Nuku handed Ronaldo van Rooyen, 34, and Tawfeeq Ibrahim, 26, the highest sentence for such an offence, saying he had considered the manner in which Hector was killed, the fact that the two had tampered with the scene, the effect her murder had on her family, and that the accused had elected not to testify.

They were sentenced to life in prison for the murder and 15 years for aggravated robbery.

READ: Cape Town mom's 2 'friends' found guilty of her murder

Hector's body was found wrapped in plastic and dumped in Groot Drakenstein in March 2016.

A hammer or similar object had been used to bludgeon her to death.

'Court closure'

According to the post-mortem, she died of extensive blunt-force head injuries.

A colleague last saw Hector, 34, leaving Oostenberg Lodge in Kuils River, where she worked. Her body was found nine days later.

The men are believed to have murdered Hector because they wanted to steal the BMW Z3 she had been driving. She allegedly owed Van Rooyen "a lot of money".

The vehicle belonged to Hector's boyfriend.

Hector's sister Vivi-Anne Pretorius said after the sentencing that they finally had "court closure".

"[Allowing] the healing to begin is what we are now focused on. It's been a long run - almost two-and-a-half years... of trying to do the right thing by looking after the end of Zarah's life."

Her cousin Natasha van Harte added that they would never get their loved one back.

"We still find ourselves where we started, but with a little reassurance that justice has been served."

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter