Teen tells how trio killed cop

2011-02-18 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG teenager told the high court here yesterday how one of his companions opened fire on off-duty policeman Warrant Officer Bheki Mntambo in Imbali with the intention of robbing him while they were going to a tavern on May 13, last year.

High court Judge Rishi Seegobin will sentence Siphamandla Cele (18) on March 1 after considering a report from a social worker.

Cele pleaded guilty yesterday to murder and attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances. He said he was with Sanele Mwelase, Bongani Hlongwane and a person he knew as Linda when they decided to go to a tavern. Mwelase brought a gun, telling them that if they came across anyone they would rob them.

They met Mntambo on a footpath and greeted him.

“Immediately after passing … I turned around and saw Sanele take out the firearm and begin to shoot … Almost simultaneously [Mntambo] drew his firearm and I heard shots.”

Cele said he, Hlongwane and Linda fled. Later, Mwelase asked them to go back to check if Mntambo was dead, but Cele was scared and refused and didn’t see the others until they were arrested two days later.

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