Double life sentences for robbers who murdered two policemen in Soweto

23 July 2020 - 09:15
By Nomahlubi Jordaan
The South Gauteng high court has sentenced two men who killed two police officers, to two life sentences each.
Image: Elvis Ntombela The South Gauteng high court has sentenced two men who killed two police officers, to two life sentences each.

The South Gauteng High Court has sentenced two men who robbed and killed two police officials in Braamfischerville, Soweto, in 2015, to two life sentences each.

The slain police officers were attached to the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit at the time of their death.

“While driving a police vehicle Warrant Officer Samuel Mchizama (54) and Constable Solly Maluleke (41) were ambushed by eight heavily armed men who had just robbed a liquor store in Braamfischerville,” the police said.

Mchizama was declared dead at the scene and Maluleke succumbed to the gunshot wounds on arrival at the hospital.

“The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation's Tactical Operational Management Services and serious organised crime investigation members swiftly responded on intelligence and intercepted one of the getaway vehicles along the N3 near Heidelberg.

“Two of the suspects were shot and killed during the resultant shoot-out with authorities. Two R5 rifles and ammunition were recovered from the suspects’ vehicle,” the police said.

Further police investigation led to the arrest of Mxolisi Mazibuko (30) in Meadowlands.

A week later, the investigation team arrested Simphiwe Mswane (27), Sthembiso Vincent Khumalo (31), and Mzwakhe Thabethe (34) after a suspicious vehicle was spotted in Fordsburg, Johannesburg.

“A rifle that was linked to the robbery and murder was recovered. Thabethe and Mswane were later fatally wounded during a shoot-out with police after they escaped from custody together with Mazibuko, who was rearrested.”

The remaining pair were found guilty on two counts of murder and were each sentenced to double-life imprisonment for the murders; 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances;  15 years' imprisonment for robbery of a firearm; 15 years' imprisonment for possession of prohibited firearms;  15 years in jail for possession of an automatic rifle, and three years for possession of ammunition.