Persistent cop finally sees nemesis jailed for a very long time
Warrant officer David Motsi could be excused for feeling pleased on Wednesday. This was the day he saw his nemesis sent to jail for a very long time: four life terms plus 240 years.
Motsi was the police officer assigned to investigate the spree of crimes committed by Innocent Lungisani "One Man" Mdlolo during a six-month reign of terror that ended in December 2012. Mdlolo had terrorised the communities of Klipspruit and Pimville in Soweto. He was convicted in September 2014 by the South Gauteng High Court for 22 crimes including one murder, three rapes, and numerous housebreakings and aggravated robberies in September 2014.
Mdlolo escaped on December 2 2014, the day he was due to be sentenced for his crimes, and was rearrested only in November last year.
Sentencing was completed on Wednesday by a new judge, Ratha Mokgoatlheng, because trial judge George Maluleke died in 2017. Fortunately, Maluleke had written up and filed his detailed judgment.
On Wednesday, Mdlolo was sentenced to four life terms and 240 years in jail for his crimes. The sentences should run concurrently, Maluleke wrote in his judgment.
"I am actually reading the judgment of my late brother, judge George Maluleke. He is actually speaking to this court, wherever he is," Mokgoatlheng said during sentencing.
Mpuletsane Matotola, who was robbed of cash and her cellphone by Mdlolo, expressed happiness at the lengthy sentence.
Matotola was with five friends at a house in Klipsruit preparing vegetables for a wedding later in the day when Mdlolo entered the garage and at gunpoint demanded money and cellphones. Matotola and her friends handed them over.
"He held a gun on my head as he demanded money. I was convinced I was going to die. I could not move for five minutes after Mdlolo had taken money and our cellphones and fled the scene," Matotola said.
Matotola said she was worried when she heard that Mdlolo had escaped on the eve of his sentencing.
"My problem was, how did he manage to escape? But Warrant Officer Motsi was persistent and assured us Mdlolo would be re-arrested."
The National Prosecuting Authority expressed satistfaction at the judgment and said it had brought closure for the victims.
"I would like to call him a hardened criminal. He escaped from custody in 2014, adding further trauma to the victims as they feared he might come back. We are happy that the victims feel justice has been served," NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said.