Watchdog welcomes killer cop's conviction

2012-09-01 07:26

Johannesburg - The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) welcomed the murder conviction of student Constable Sipho Mbatha on Friday.

Spokesman Moses Dlamini said the outcome of the trial sent a message to police officials to be more careful when using their firearms.

"When police take out their weapons, they must understand the implications," Dlamini said.

The High Court in Johannesburg on Friday found Mbatha guilty of murdering 16-year-old Thato Mokoka on February 14 in a raid at the home of his grandmother in Bramfischerville, Soweto.

Mbatha claimed he did not intentionally kill Mokoka, but that his R5 rifle, which had been set on automatic, accidentally went off when he bent over to search Mokoka while he lay face down on the ground.

"I'm sorry about what happened... God knows it wasn't my intention," he told the court.

Judge Kathleen Satchwell postponed sentencing proceedings to 17 September, when a psychiatrist would testify about Mbatha's state of mind.

  • hermann.hanekom - 2012-09-01 07:41

    This conviction is also a negative reflection on the quality of police training.

  • Caiphus Molatelo Mahlaka - 2012-09-01 07:48

    A student constable at the age of 41? It seems he didn't know his job properly! Sent him to life and throw away the prison keys in the bushes

      isabel.w.stokes - 2012-09-01 08:43

      I agree with you, Caiphus. There should be an upper age limit.

      freddie.miff - 2012-09-01 08:52

      They will take a 41 year old AA candidate who is incompetent, but not young, fit and capable non-AA candidates. More useless cadres and jobs for pals.

  • leeann.mentorcarstens - 2012-09-01 08:17

    Who instructed this student constable to book out an assault rifle? Police officials works on instructions of police officers. They say first comply then complain. Why is his comander not charged? It might have been an accident but one that could have been stoped.

  • isabel.w.stokes - 2012-09-01 08:42

    Excellet. We don't need rubbish like this in the police service. It's bad enough already. Police training should also be drastically improved: this is not acceptable. Maybe if they'd concentrate less on taking bribes and more on doing their jobs PROPERLY this sort of thing wouldn't happen

  • siso.shoba - 2012-09-01 08:46

    We might never know if it was intentionally or not, and not forgetting that the teenagers life was taken away by our very own police men that we love and trust and this one will set a great example to all other police men out there. May his soul rest in peace.

  • ruben.maistry - 2012-09-01 09:28

    The authority's should also be held responsible.It is evident that the accused was inadequately trained.During the apartheid era, non whites were abused by the police, now such abuse seems to be getting worse. How does one respect an officer of the law who abuses the powers vested in him.

  • gregory.jurgens - 2012-09-01 09:40

    If you see a policeman with a assault rifle run for cover, we have to assume it's on automatic and the officer doesn't know how to use it safely.

  • Deon - 2012-09-01 09:55

    So sad, looking back at Marikana however the incompetence of police oFficers are clearly showing there...hiding behind your colleagues

      Deon - 2012-09-04 00:48

      Wonder what hAppened to the rest of my comments....

  • patsy.smith.125 - 2012-09-01 10:02

    A 41 year old "student" constable, with his R5 on automatic, which then goes off "accidentaly". What's the next excuse to be used for total ineptitude, lack of training and with probably no license to carry such a weapon?

  • samgaf - 2012-09-01 10:07

    Shame,he deserves a medal,give him back his job and a machine gun.Anyone familiar wiv "Axione Noxales",can it apply??

  • bobo.simon2 - 2012-09-01 11:34

    only god knows if he is speakin the truth

  • Giyani Thomas - 2012-09-01 13:15

    who is this guy dlamini? he always contradict himself with statement he pose on the media. first he said police are justified to shoot to protect them self in marikana but now he say police must know that when they pull a trigger is not justified. please guys lets appoint people whith knowledge when it comes to good running of the beloved country of south africa. where a u NELSON MANDELA?

  • Tshegofatso Molotsi - 2012-09-01 20:28

    He deserves to rot in jail

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