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2020/08/21      |  Written By:  Captain S Mhlongo   |   Province:  Kwazulu-Natal

KWAZULU-NATAL – The Pietermaritzburg High Court has today sentenced Bheko Sibiya (38), Mdeliseni Mathonsi (28) and Siphamandla Mathonsi (32) to life imprisonment for the murder of Captain Dumisani Mhlanzi who was stationed at Maphumulo Police Station.

Captain Mhlanzi was shot and killed on 23 February 2018 during an armed robbery that occurred at Maphumulo shopping centre. The suspects made off with cash, cell phones and Captain Mhlanzi’s service pistol.

In March 2018, Mdeliseni Mathonsi and Goodboy Sibiya were arrested at KwaMashu men’s hostel and three of their accomplices were fatally wounded during a shootout with police. Siphamandla Mathonsi was arrested in June 2019 and during his arrest he was found in possession of an unlicensed firearm as well as live rounds of ammunition.

All accused were sentenced to life imprisonment each for murder, 15 years imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances of the shop employee, 15 years for robbery of another shop employee and another 15 years for robbery of Captain Mhlanzi’s service pistol. Siphamandla Mathonsi was further sentenced to eight years imprisonment for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. Their life imprisonment sentences and a combined 143-year sentence will run concurrently.     

The Hawks’ members from Durban Serious Organised Crime unit thoroughly investigated the case and presented a well investigated docket before court. Their application for leave to appeal was immediately dismissed by the presiding Judge.

The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya has commended the investigators and the prosecutorial teams for ensuring that justice is served. "It may be impossible to adequately comprehend the pain the deceased’s family is going through. I hope this will at least bring some much needed closure to them and that these sentences will serve as a deterrent for likeminded criminals who might be tempted to harm our police officials who are sworn to protect the community”, said Lebeya.