Police officers sentenced for murder

2010-08-04 14:53

Three police officers were sentenced today for the murder of Shadrack Nkuzo in Seymore, Eastern Cape, in 2006.

An investigation led by the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) resulted in the conviction and sentencing of the officers at the Bhisho High Court.

ICD spokesperson Moses Dlamini said: “This case illustrates the difficulty of investigating police officers who may go to great lengths to cover up their illegal actions.”

They had shot dead Nzuko then pretended he died in a car accident.

Warrant Officer Mlungisi Papu was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, and Warrant Officers Fezekile Maseti and Zukile Zinto were each sentenced to four years’ imprisonment.

The police officers had said Nkuzo was shot dead on Hill Crest farm on May 13 2006 when they had gone there looking for a dangerous criminal.

They claimed Nkuzo shot at them when he came out of his house, but this was contradicted by the ICD’s investigation.

The ICD took particular interest in the fact that the officers placed a weapon in the deceased’s hand to support their version of the story.

The officers were stationed at Fort Beaufort at the time.

Nkuzo had to be exhumed for a second post-mortem because his initial cause of death was listed as injuries due to a car accident, when in fact he sustained a bullet wound to the head.

“The ICD hopes that the sentence will send a strong message to other police officers that they should avoid getting involved in criminal behaviour,” Dlamini said.

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