Police reservist given two life sentences

2012-04-19 00:00

THE MARGATE police reservist who gunned down a Margate policeman and his friend received two life sentences in the high court in Ramsgate yesterday.

Passing sentence, Judge Greg Kruger told Sibonelo Ian Musha (27) that he had committed the ultimate crime.

“In a theft crime you can return what was stolen. Once you kill someone you cannot give them back their life,” he said.

Musha was sentenced to an additional seven years for attempted murder.

Kruger said the series of events presented in court and in the admission of guilt by Musha, it was clear that the murders were premeditated.

“What is even more aggravating is that only one gunshot wound had an entrance point from the front. All others were from the back,” said the judge.

“It is a cowardly way to kill someone who posed no threat to you. You shot them in cold blood.”

Musha pleaded guilty on Tuesday to killing Monica Silindile Cele (21) and Sipho Philip Danca (27) on March 27, 2010, in Qinabout, Gamalakhe, outside Port Shepstone.

He also pleaded guilty to attempting to kill Queen Gushu (25) who was at the scene.

He initially pleaded not guilty on the grounds of self-defence.

The motive for the murders was raised in court only yesterday when defence attorney Calvin Singh read the plea on behalf of his client.

According to Musha, he was in a relationship with Cele. An altercation had occurred between him and Danca in the presence of Cele and Gushu earlier that morning prior to the shooting. What was said in the altercation is still unknown.

Musha went to the Margate police station dressed in police uniform and booked out a service pistol.

He changed into civilian clothing and went to Gushu’s house looking for them.

In his plea statement Musha said that Danca had assaulted him during the altercation.

“I wanted to discuss the problem we had among ourselves. I got angry when I saw Monica in the company of Sipho on the bed.

“Overcome with anger, I drew my firearm and fired gunshots at Sipho in quick succession,” he said.

Gushu, who was also in the room, ran out. Cele jumped of the bed and was also exiting when Mushu shot her in the back. She managed to make her way to another room.

“I exited the house firing gunshots in the direction which Queen went.”

He shot himself in the chin a few metres away from the house.

“A shot went off and I collapsed,” he said.

“I recall waking up in hospital.”

Musha’s application to appeal his sentence was turned down by the judge.

Friends and family of the two deceased and Gushu welcomed the sentence and breathed a sigh of relief.

“We are very happy that he is going to be locked away for a very long time and we are all safe from him,” said Cele’s mother, Fanisile Lushaba.

Musha’s mother and grandmother, who were also present, cried as sentence was passed.

• witness@feveronline.co.za

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