Eastern Cape cop killers sentenced to life in prison

Two men were sentenced to life behind bars after being found guilty of killing a police officer who intervened as they attempted to burgle a post office in Libode, Eastern Cape, in 2015.

Msawenkosi Ngqongwa, 27, and Andisile Mbarha, 30, were last week sentenced by the Mthatha High Court for the murder of Warrant Officer Cyprian Mlungiseleli Dukuza, 59.

According to Hawks spokesperson Captain Anelisa Feni, a security guard who was stationed at business premises in the small town of Libode reported a suspicious grinding sound coming from the local post office and alerted police on March 24, 2015.

"Police swiftly reacted on the scene and a shootout ensued with a group of armed men," said Feni in a statement.

"Warrant Officer Dukuza and a sergeant were wounded. The criminals then fled the scene and the two police members were then taken to hospital where Warrant Officer Dukuza succumbed to his injuries while the sergeant recuperated following treatment."

The Hawks' serious organised crime investigation unit took over the investigation and arrested Ngqongwa and Mbarha in April 2015.

Both convicted killers were also sentenced to seven years each for attempted murder, 27 years for two counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances, nine years for three counts of house breaking with intent to commit an offence and to four years for possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

"All these sentences are to run concurrently with the sentence of life imprisonment for murder."

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