On Wednesday, 20 September 2023, Durban High Court sentenced Thamsanqa Mabaso (33) and Nkululeko Zulu (23) to two life imprisonment for double murder of two Durban Metro police officers, Constable Sonto Mhlanga and Inspector Fanifani Dladla.
In May 2019, the two Durban Metro Police members were performing guard duties at the councillor’s house in Bhambayi, Phoenix when they were accosted by the accused. The accused fired shots at the police and robbed one of them a service pistol with rounds of ammunition.
They died at the scene and cases of murder as well as robbery with aggravating circumstances were reported at the Phoenix police station. The case docket was allocated to the Hawks’ members from the Durban Serious Organised Crime Investigation. The accused were arrested three days later and remanded in custody since then except for Mabaso.
On 12 October 2022, the Durban High Court sentenced one of their accomplice Mfana Shozi (22) to twelve years imprisonment for robbery and he turned a state witness. Yesterday, the co-accused Sabelo Biyela (23) and Bonginkosi Msomi (24) were both sentenced to 10 years direct imprisonment for only armed robbery which happened after the police murder.
Mabaso was further sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for robbery of a firearm, 15 years imprisonment for robbery that occurred after the police murder and five years of the robbery sentence will run concurrently with the sentences of other counts. Zulu was further sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for robbery of a firearm, 15 years imprisonment for robbery that occurred after the police murder, 10 years for attempted murder of police officers which happened during his arrest, 15 years imprisonment for possession of unlicensed firearm as well as ammunition. Part of his sentence will run concurrently.
The KwaZulu-Natal Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Provincial Head, Major General (Dr) Lesetja Senona welcomed the sentence and applauded the members for the good work. “Heartless criminals do not belong in the society, they belong to jail. Well done to the investigation and prosecution team,” he said.
Content retrieved from: https://www.saps.gov.za/newsroom/msspeechdetail.php?nid=48532.