KwaPata man admits to policeman’s murder

2011-02-18 00:00

A 32-YEAR-OLD man from KwaPata has pleaded guilty to the murder of Mountain Rise policeman Njabulo Mahlaba and to robbing him and his girlfriend, Nomalanga Ntuli, on January 21 at Smero in Edendale.

Judge Rishi Seegobin is expected to sentence Mpumelelo Njabulo Majola today.

In a statement to the court yesterday, Majola said he and a friend, Senzo Mthethwa, were walking along Smero main road on the night in question “in search of potential victims to rob”.

Earlier that evening Mthethwa had come to his home with two firearms and said he was “starving” and asked for help to commit a robbery to get money. “As I also had no money, I agreed to assist him,” Majola said.

He said they saw the policeman and Ntuli getting out of their car. Mahlaba’s wallet was visible in his back pocket. Majola and Mthethwa walked past the couple and lay in wait for them further along the road.

“When [they] reached us we both pointed our firearms at them and demanded their belongings. I heard a gunshot [and] saw [Mahlaba] fall to the ground and I realised that Senzo had shot [him].”

Majola said on Mthethwa’s instructions he searched the policeman and took his cellphone and wallet, while Mthethwa robbed Ntuli of her cellphone. They then fled. Each received R40 from the wallet and a cellphone.

He added that while he was searching for the money, Senzo found the man’s police appointment badge. “We concluded that Senzo had shot a policeman.”

When Majola asked Mthethwa why he shot Mahlaba, he replied that he was scared he could be armed.

State advocate Candy Kander has submitted that the only appropriate sentence is life imprisonment.

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