Five get more than 110 years each

2012-01-23 00:00

THE Pietermarizburg high court sentenced each of the five men responsible for the murder of a member of the police’s K-9 unit to life imprisonment.

The men also received more than 110 years each for robbery with aggravating circumstances of a Greytown supermarket.

Acting Judge Kobus Booyens sentenced Tholinhlanhla Zuke, Mbongeni Zungu, Musawakhe Maphumulo, Siyabonga Cebekhulu and Wiseman Zuke, who were part of a gang of about 12 heavily armed men who came from Johannesburg to rob the supermarket in November 28, 2007.

Aheers Superstore, which was attacked and robbed by the group during the early hours of that day, is a few metres away from the Greytown police station.

Booyens, handing down sentence, said that firearms are dangerous tools of their trade.

Booyens said: “AK-47s were a scourge and used in many serious crimes in South Africa, 9 mm handguns are also frequently stolen and used in many crimes.

“Filing off the serial numbers of such guns made it difficult to identify them in crimes.”

He added that unlawful possession of such guns was a serious offence and a heavy penalty was prescribed for anyone convicted of it.

The group were sentenced to life for the murder of police officer Ageet Mewa. They each got 20 years for robbing six people in Aheers Superstore and 15 years for the attempted murder of Mewa’s colleague, Navin Maharaj.

In addition, they received 15 years each for other robberies of a Mazda 626, VW Jetta, Mazda double cab bakkie and a .38 special revolver and six rounds of ammunition. They got 15 years for the murder of one of their accomplices, Cijimpi Mdlolo, who was killed during a shoot-out with police.

Maphumulo was also given 15 years for the possession of fully automatic AK-47s. Zuke and Zungu were given an additional 15 years for the possession of semi-automatic pistols and they and Maphumulo were given an extra 15 years for possessing handguns, of which the serial numbers had been filed off. In addition Zuke, Zungu and Maphumulo were sentenced to one year each for the possession of ammunition.

They made an application for leave to appeal and it was refused.

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