News24

Student cop gets 17 years

2012-12-04 13:03

Johannesburg - Convicted murderer student constable Sipho Mbatha was sentenced by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday to 17 years in prison, with five years suspended.

"Five of that is suspended on condition that you are not convicted of any offence ranging from common assault to murder," ruled Judge Kathleen Satchwell.

Mbatha rose to his feet, looking composed, and was hugged and kissed by his wife.

In August Mbatha was found guilty of killing 16-year-old Thato Mokoka. Satchwell said there had been no evidence to dispute that Mbatha's actions were not intentional.

Mbatha shot Mokoka dead in February while the teenager was lying on his stomach outside his grandmother's house. Police were conducting a raid at the house after Mokoka was accused of being part of a gang terrorising local residents.

Mokoka's family cried inconsolably outside court.

His great-grandmother said the family would "release" Mbatha, as all was done now.

Mbatha, took a private moment with his wife and son before his sentencing.


His wife had been weeping silently while awaiting proceedings, when they were led out of court for a private moment.

Later on, Mbatha, wife and son returned to court composed and took a seat on a bench directly behind him as he sat in the dock.

As sentencing began, Judge Kathleen Satchwell said it would be a rather long sentence to deliver.

She said it should be taken into consideration that Mbatha shot and killed Mokoka while on duty and not during a robbery.

But, she also said, a young life had been taken.

"He was unarmed. His death was a murder and a terrible loss of life," she said.

Comments
  • mable.jacobs.90 - 2012-12-04 13:33

    17 years???Life

  • peter.ndamase - 2012-12-04 13:36

    The police service has failed this student cop. This boy was known to be terrorising the community and was always armed. The student cop did justice for the entire soweto community. how many more must die in this young man's hands before the Judge realise he was a danger to society. This country is crime ridden, the only solution is to eliminate this dangerous criminals. Criminals have more rights than an honest taxpayer in this country!

      tumisang.kolobe - 2012-12-04 13:49

      You don't kill him, you arrest him so that the court of law can find him guilty period.....

      moriri.mosweu - 2012-12-04 14:00

      This is the only way to become untouchable in Mzansi, become a criminal or a prisoner then you are immune...

      nmokoka2 - 2012-12-04 14:04

      Don't speak rubbish u dnt no thato u live were erver u live

      Sean Wasserman - 2012-12-04 14:04

      What happened to innocent before being proven guilty. Someone I know was arrested and beaten on circumstantial evidence and later released without being charged. The cop's life was not threatened. A strong message needs to be given to out corrupt police force.

      teri.bosmanbekker - 2012-12-04 15:56

      Peter is right!!! So, the good guy - actually kills a bad guy - and (thanks to our pathetic government) this bad guy would anyway never be punished for his crimes - , but the good guy does?? Hello?? What about the hundreds of them, that kill everyday - they are rotten with all their crimes - they get BAIL and just do it again!! This man get's 17years!?? Hell no, something seriously wrong with SA!!!! And hands down me for this comment - it will not change the fact - that there is NO justice in this sick country!!

  • scebberish.umfazi - 2012-12-04 13:59

    Wonder if this same gangster considered the unarmed people he was terrorising, undoubtedly armed himself at the time.

      jacqueline.c.smith.988 - 2012-12-04 14:01

      He was not found guilty of gangsterism!

  • khumbulani.khanyile.3 - 2012-12-04 14:11

    the judje should have been lenient towards SIPHO MBATHA.

  • thoka.mphoka - 2012-12-04 14:30

    if its true he was terrorising the community he got killed bofore killing. ma just saying

      nmokoka2 - 2012-12-04 17:41

      Did u c him terorising or u heard of that

  • Mandla - 2012-12-04 14:31

    very sad for cop and screw the dead thung and his family.

      nmokoka2 - 2012-12-04 17:33

      Screw ur dirty ass he was our son I wish u get to fil hw we fil

      Onke.Dali - 2012-12-04 17:35

      A young man was brutally murdered in his home, infront of his family and you say screw them? Where's the gun that police were allegedly looking for? What crimes had this young man been accused of or convicted for? One day I wish you or a family member experiences Police brutality, we'll see what you say then.

      nzimu1 - 2012-12-04 21:20

      i cnt blieve hw insensitive u are gosh the thug u toking abt was my cousin and he didnt deserv to die lyk that,ths is lyf and 1 day u wil gt to experianc the pain of losing sum1 in ths manner

  • siyaz.mcitakali.3 - 2012-12-04 14:49

    I feel sorry for this chap, students roughly have less than two years in the service and he got the ultimate lesson so early in his carrier before he could even achieve much! Let's just hope that the thug's family will take him out as stated in the report and not let him serve the 12 years behind bars,and now when he comes out he must look for another carrier

  • Monique 'Mare' Hooper - 2012-12-04 16:23

    No wonder our youth want to immigrate this country is messed up I wonder what life my 4 year old boy is gonna have he would'nt be able to trust anyone . Cops are bad and there's thugs everywhere honestly.

  • prakash.singh.169 - 2012-12-04 16:26

    SOON TO JOIN THE ANC IN A TOP GOVERNMENT POST. ANC REQUIREMENT A CONVICTED CRIMINAL LIKE, WINNIE MANDELA AND MANY IN THE ANC.

  • Joe Thembinkosi Khosa - 2012-12-04 17:31

    That's wonderful news lol.........

  • sbongezulu - 2012-12-04 18:36

    A welcome judgement, followed da story in da media. That killer deserves mo than 12 yrs behind bars. It is not a FACT that the lad was a gangster. This bloodthirsty cop jst couldn't wait to drop that young man with nothing against him. His testimony also proved him a liar. A lying killer, all composed in court, nx.

  • lucky.mabunda.92 - 2012-12-04 19:47

    I feel sorry for the student constable

  • jonesriffler.mtokwana - 2012-12-05 04:59

    Justice served for ths coward wannabe constable hw can u short a teeneger sleepin wit a stomach nd unarmed .go to jail nd they will beat u cuz u r a coward

  • nico.eksteen.7 - 2012-12-05 06:50

    Gosh...and an old guy got 40 years the other day for watching childporn. Eish

  • ramohapelwa.berries - 2012-12-05 10:28

    A youth died. If news24 could have checked why the constable didn't defend himself in court

      sarah.bouttell - 2012-12-05 12:12

      Not just you and I thought that was unusual. The Judge remarked that she might have had a different view, had he tried to present his side of the story, in his words. But he did not want to speak.

  • mbango.sithole - 2012-12-05 11:38

    This just raises questions for me. Here is a student cop. By definition a student is still learning and can make mistakes. You give 17 years for a mistake?????????? The judiciary now needs to be monitored.

      Rhulani Lon Makuleke - 2014-02-14 19:34

      I wish that student cop you stand by his side can do the very same mistake to one of your family members, that's where you can see that there was no mistake

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