‘Negligent Hawk’ sentenced

2018-01-24 06:01

ON Friday, January 12 Amanzimtoti Magistrate’s Court sentenced a SAPS elite unit member of the Hawks - Kholisile Mhletywa Zangwa to a R20 000 fine or one year in prison for the loss of a state firearm.

The court found that on June 10, 2015, the 51-year-old was “unlawfully dispossessed of his firearm, owing to is failure to take reasonable steps to prevent the loss or theft of the firearm, while the firearm was under his direct control”.

The accused and a colleague, Lieutenant-Colonel Nomvalu parked a state vehicle at Galleria Mall. The accused left his state firearm in the parked vehicle, while Nomvalu left his private firearm in the vehicle. The vehicle was broken into and both firearms were stolen.

Galleria Mall Security Manager, Luan Havemann, printed photos from the security camera where the vehicle was parked, which assisted the court in determining how far the vehicle had been parked from the shopping mall.

Defence attorney, Mr Khanyile wanted the court to impose a R2 000 fine, but the court, in view of gross negligence, imposed a steeper sentence.

In her sentencing, Magistrate Charlotte Dickinson, quoted Police Minister Fikile Mabalula, stating that “police officials needed to work harder to seize illegal weapons that littered the streets of the province and that their task is made harder by their peers who worked with criminals”.

“The criminals, who are hiding behind the veil of being police officers, are turning this department and police stations into killing factories when our responsibility is to actually protect citizens,” Minister Mabalula said. (Rogue cops under fire, Sunday Tribune, October 8, 2017).

The magistrate said the fact that the accused was a law enforcement official, a member of the police and at that point a captain, and the fact that both the accused and his colleague were high ranking officials, were aggravating factors.

Magistrate Dickinson further quoted recent statistics whereby 297 cop firearms were lost in the Eastern Cape over the past three years.

Nomvalu appeared in another court.

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