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Provincial Commissioner applauds sentence of life imprisonment for police killer

Media Statement
South African Police Service
Office of the Provincial Commissioner KwaZulu-Natal

DURBAN - On Thursday, 3 September 2020, the Mtunzini High Court sentenced Sabelo Gina (37) to life imprisonment for murder plus 65 years for arson, attempted murder as well as illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. His sentence emanated after the court heard how he killed an off-duty police officer at Esikhaleni in 2016.

On 5 March 2016 at 03:15, Sergeant Sthembiso Dusse (35) was asleep at his home at H2 Section in Esikhaleni, when he was attacked by unknown suspects who stole his firearm and other belongings. Following the robbery, his house was set alight and he was burnt beyond recognition. Screams were heard by the neighbours emanating from the house. They tried to put down the fire but all were in vain due the flames. An inquest docket was opened for investigation at Esikhaleni SAPS. Dusse was stationed at the Empangeni Public Order Police Unit.

Following a rigorous investigation, a 37-year-old man was arrested at Esikhaleni a month later, after he was found in possession of the deceased’s firearm. A shotgun and other items were found hidden in the bushes at Mandlankala Reserve in Esikhaleni. Further investigation revealed that the late police officer’s firearm was used in the shooting of two persons at Esikhaleni and he was positively linked to the two attempted murders. The following the exhaustive investigation the inquest docket was changed to murder.

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula, welcomed the sentence as police in the province mourn the death of another police officer who was killed in the line of duty at Nsuze after she responded to a robbery on a business premises. Yesterday, just after midnight, a group of heavily armed men entered the business premises at Nsuze and held up security guards. The two police officers responded to a report of a robbery on the premises as the suspects were attempting to break into the safe. The criminals opened fire at the police officers as they approached the premises killing 38-year-old Sergeant Nokwanda Patricia Sithembile Phakathi. The suspects fled after the shootout and it is not known if anything was taken,

“We are comforted by the sentence handed down by the Mtunzini High Court. We hope this sentence will bring closure to the deceased’s family and the SAPS family. I would like to personally thank the investigating officer for cracking the case and putting this ruthless killer behind the bars. On 6 September 2020, we will be observing our National Commemoration Day and we are saddened by the latest incident of another police officer killed whilst executing her duties by protecting the citizens of this province. We convey our heartfelt condolences to the family of Sergeant Phakathi,” said Lieutenant General Jula.


Brigadier Jay Naicker
082 556 7865