Student cop to be sentenced

2012-09-17 16:26
Sipho Mbatha. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Sipho Mbatha. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Convicted student constable Sipho Mbatha will be sentenced in December after further consultations with a psychiatrist, the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg decided on Monday.

Judge Kathleen Satchwell said it was important for her to hear the views of psychiatrist Dr Mirriam Matjila.

"While nothing may come out of this, after I heard the social worker, I realised I needed more explanations."

Kenneth Manyage, for Mbatha, said Matjila was expected to conclude her report on Mbatha on 28 September and would testify on 3 December.

A South African Police Service social worker told the court last month that Mbatha had been affected by the shooting of 16-year-old Thato Mokoka.

Mbatha shot Mokoka as he lay on the ground outside his grandmother's house on 14 February.

Police had raided the house after a tip-off that Mokoka was a gang member who owned a firearm. The firearm was not found.

Mbatha told the court the shooting was an accident, but it found him guilty of murder.

The father of four has asked for a suspended sentence, and submitted that he is his family's sole breadwinner.
The Mokoka family has called for a life sentence.

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