Cop killer gets 10 years for police officer's death during July 2021 riots
The two men who killed off-duty policeman Const Zolani Zuma at the height of the July 2021 unrest have been sentenced in the Durban high court.
Mzikayifani Ndebele, 20, and Sibusiso Ndlela, 21, were found guilty of killing Zuma, 32, who was stationed at the Mariannhill public order unit.
Ndebele was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment for attempted murder, while Ndlela was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment for murder and four years for kidnapping.
The state alleged that on July 13 2021, Zuma was off duty when he noticed a vehicle transporting people with stolen goods.
The quick-thinking police officer followed the car until it reached the Tshelimnyama location near Mariannhill. An altercation ensued when he confronted them.
During the confrontation, Zuma was struck with an iron rod before he was disarmed by Ndebele. Ndebele also fired shots at Zuma, who was left severely injured.
Ndlela then bundled Zuma’s body into the boot of his vehicle before driving to Milky Way in Dassenhoek. The car was set alight, and Zuma’s body was found burnt beyond recognition.
Mariannhill police handed over the murder investigation to members of the Hawks' Durban organised crime unit.
In February 2022, the police made a breakthrough by arresting the two in uMsinga. They were both charged for attempted murder, murder and kidnapping.
They were denied bail, resulting in their lengthy detention until November 1, when they were due to be sentenced. However, the two launched an appeal against their conviction, which they later abandoned.
The sentencing was welcomed by KZN Hawks head Dr Lesetja Senona, who praised the investigation and prosecution team for the good work.
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