Johannesburg – Last Thursday the Gauteng High Court sentenced three men to two life terms in prison for the murder of a police officer and tavern owner in 2016.
The men, Halalisani Gumede, 30, Lungisani Madlala, 27, and Ntuthuko Mseleku, 30, were sentenced to two life sentences plus 604 years for murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, possession of unlicensed firearms, and obstructing justice.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said in August 2016 they robbed a tavern in Palm Ridge. “The owner made his way to the tavern, where he was shot and killed. The three took the deceased’s firearm and an undisclosed amount of money, and ransacked the tavern.”
She said local armed response security personnel arrived at the scene and the three men overpowered them and took their firearms. “An off-duty Ekurhuleni metro police officer, Constable Sabelo Ngwenya, heard the commotion, rushed to the scene and chased the getaway vehicle. Unbeknown to Ngwenya, the suspects were using two vehicles. Gumede and Madlala crashed onto a tree as they fled in one of the vehicles. While Ngwenya tried to arrest them, Mseleku turned out in a Toyota RunX and shot Ngwenya dead, and the three men fled.”
Gumede and Madlala were arrested a week later in Brakpan and police confiscated six guns from them.
“The following day, the investigation team arrested Mseleku at a hotel in Rustenburg.”
Further investigations revealed that the men also attacked innocent victims in which they stole wedding rings, watches and cash.
“Many civilians were attacked at shopping centres, township taverns, and if they resisted, they were severely assaulted and shot,” Peters said.