On Monday the Mtunzini High Court convicted and sentenced a former police officer, Eudora Nozizwe Khumalo (42) and her co-accused Bhekizenzo Mge Ntshangase(25) to life imprisonment for murder as well 15 years imprisonment for attempted murder and 10 years imprisonment on two counts of kidnapping.
During March 2016, Ziphozonke Zithulele Nsele (36) and his friend were accused of stealing a cellphone and were taken to the accused's house at Empangeni where they were severely assaulted. Nsele was fatally injured while his friend survived the assault. The deceased and his friend were put inside the trunk of a vehicle and victim witnessed the accused dumping the deceased's body into a river. The body of Nsele was never recovered. Detectives at Empangeni police conducted the investigation which led to the arrest of five suspects.
Three of the accused pleaded guilty in the Pietemaritzburg High Court and were sentenced during May and June this year. Lindokuhle Shabalala was sentenced to 18 years imprisonment for murder and eight years imprisonment for attempted murder; Sicelo Ntshangase was sentenced to 16 years imprisonment for murder and four years imprisonment for attempted murder while Sakhile Thokozani Bhengu was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for murder and three years imprisonment for attempted murder.
The Acting Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Mkhwanazi praised detectives who investigated the matter which led to all of the accused being sentenced for their crimes even though a body was never recovered. This is sterling work by our detectives and indicates very clearly that we do not condone vigilantism even when one of our own is a perpetrator. It is very disappointing to find a police officer breaking the law. Our police officers are trained to uphold the law and they have to work within the framework of legal prescripts. We expect our police officers to always comply with the laws of the country and if they don't, they will receive the same treatment as every other criminal, he said.
Source: South African Police Service