The Pretoria High Court sitting in Delmas Magistrate Court has sentenced Alexander Mohoebi to life imprisonment for the murder of Bongani Nkumba who was a traffic officer in the Mpumalanga Province for the Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison.
MEC Ngomane said that this sentence will serve as a deterrent to all those who intimidate and assault traffic officers when they do their work. He has thanked the Department of Justice and the officers who were doing investigations for the sterling job since the beginning.
Nkumba’s murder took place on 5 August 2016, when he was performing his duties at Meyerville on Vrede road. Nkumba observed a black Jeep which stopped on the non-stopping area and approached the driver and requested him to produce his driving licence.
He then informed the driver that he is going to issue a ticket for him and thereafter he will take him for alcohol testing. Nkumba then requested the suspect to go with him to the state vehicle. The suspect requested the traffic officer’s permission to go to his vehicle to collect his phone.
Eyewitnesses said that they heard several gunshots and they saw Mohoebi running back to his Jeep and drove away in high speed. The police were summoned and they followed the Jeep which was recovered at Maseru Border Post whereby Mohoebi and the two people he was with at the time were arrested.
The suspects appeared before court several times and the other two were acquitted. Mohoebi remained in custody till to date. He was charged with four counts namely, murder, robbery with aggravated circumstances, possession of illegal firearm and possession of ammunition.
He pleaded guilty to all counts and was today sentenced with one life imprisonment for the murder and one life sentence for robbery as well as two years and one year for possession of illegal firearm and ammunition respectively by Judge Brian Mashile following a number of postponements.
The sentences will run concurrently. In his submission, the State Prosecutor Advocate Eric van der Merwe said that Mohoebi during his trial although pleaded guilty, did not show any remorse for his actions.
He added that there was a trend to these kind of cases where traffic officers were assaulted and some were robbed of their firearms adding that there were about fifteen cases between year 2012 and 2017. “The fact that the accused fired three shots at the deceased is an indication that his intention was to kill.
There were contradictions on his statement and the pre-sentencing report which shows that the accused had lied before the court of law,” he said. Van der Merwe added that Mohoebi’s actions had a negative impact on the family of the deceased.
Judge Mashile said during his ruling that this sentencing should serve as a warning to communities that no one is above the law. He said that Nkumba was a breadwinner in his family and a family man who worked with dedication for the safety of the province saying that Mohoebi deserves any kind of punishment imposed to him.
Through his Legal Counsel, Mohoebi apologised to the Nkumba family. Meanwhile, Kitty Nkumba who is a sister to the deceased said that they are happy as a family with the judgement but it is unfortunate that they have lost another member of the family who is their mother during the process. “We are happy that justice has been served and the law did not fail us. We are glad also that finally, we are closing this page although it won’t bring our loved ones. “We also appreciate the support from the department and the community since the beginning,” she said.
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