The policing of hostels, similarly to the policing of informal settlements is more challenging when compared with the policing of any other community due to unique conditions in these areas.
It is on this basis that the Provincial Commissioner of Police in Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela has welcomed the hefty sentences handed down on six convicted murderers on Wednesday, 29 September 2021 in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg.
The charges brought against the accused included murder, attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearm, and possession of ammunition.
Zipho Mhlungu (27), Sipho Phindaphiwe Bhengu (28), Skhumbuza Shange (27), Phiwayinkosi Mthonti (28) and Bongani Ngubane (21) received each 4 times life imprisonment and an additional 79 years while Cebelihle Ndlovhu (18) received 179 years imprisonment.
Detective Sergeant Nkosingiphile Piyo Mthenjwa was assigned to investigate the shooting incident that took place on Good Friday, 19 April 2019, whereby fifteen suspects stormed into the Nancefield hostel in Soweto, and randomly fired shots.
The suspects shot and fatally wounded four and injured five victims before they fled the scene.
Investigation by Mthenjwa revealed that the motive behind the Nancefield hostel shooting was the constant fighting between groups within the hostel between 2018 and 2019.
Mthenjwa meticulously pieced all the available evidence together which led him to trace and arrest six suspects in various locations in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, namely Alexandra (Johannesburg), Jeppe (Johannesburg) and Eshowe (Kwazulu-Natal).
It is through the application of forensic techniques and processes by Mthenjwa that positively linked Mhlungu, Bhengu, Shange, Mthonti, Ngubane and Ndlovhu to the Nancefield hostel shooting; ensuring a water-tight case against them in court.
“The hard work and commitment from Sergeant Mthenjwa in solving the Nancefield hostel shooting is commendable. Professional conduct and dedication by members of the South African Police Service will lead to more successful convictions. I am pleased that these cold-blooded murderers will spend the rest of their lives behind bars”, said Lieutenant General Elias Mawela.