Alleged 28s gang leader handed seven life sentences

He will serve seven life sentences concurrently for the crimes he masterminded between 2006 & 2010.

Alleged leader of the 28s gang, George 'Geweld' Thomas and his associates made a brief court appearance in the Western Cape High Court on 3 June 2015. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Convicted gang boss George 'Geweld' Thomas has been sentenced to life in prison for murders and other crimes he orchestrated from his jail cell.

The marathon trial against Thomas and 16 others concluded in the Western Cape High on Wednesday.

Six other gangsters have also been sentenced to life behind bars.

All the convicts were tried under the Prevention of Organised Crime Act for Crimes committed between 2006 and 2010 ranging from murder to conspiracy to commit murder and racketeering.

Thomas will serve seven life sentences concurrently for the crimes he masterminded between 2006 and 2010.

Judge Chantel Fortuin said Thomas and 16 henchmen showed no remorse deliberately and willingly carrying out hits to instil fear in the community.

The heavily tattooed convicted gangster stood with his arms clasped in front of him and nodded as Fortuin read out her ruling.

The National Prosecuting Authority has welcomed the sentence, saying it's a victory in the war on organized crime.

Meanwhile, Correctional Services has launched an investigation into how Thomas arranged several crimes from behind bars.

'Geweld' he made over 30,000 cell phone calls between 2008 and 2010 while awaiting trial.

Thomas systematically planned the murders of several people, including potential state witnesses, while he was an awaiting trial prisoner at five different facilities.

The court heard how Thomas had turned the prisons into his personal headquarters and terrorised correctional service officials.

During the trial, the convicted gang boss claimed he only attacked prison warders in retaliation, after they assaulted him.

But Judge Fortuin said it was this brutal nature she considered when she handed down the life sentences.