Two men who killed cop sentenced to life in jail

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Two men who murdered a police officer in June 2017 have been sentenced to life in prison.
Two men who murdered a police officer in June 2017 have been sentenced to life in prison.
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  • Two men have been sentenced to life for their part in the murder of a Limpopo police officer.
  • The police officer was killed during a robbery in Letlhabile near Brits.
  • A third suspect died after being assaulted by community members.

Two men have been handed life sentences for murdering a police officer in June 2017.

Surprise Mokoebo, 27, and Thabang Maleka, 26, were sentenced on Friday for the murder of Constable Samuel Hlongwane of the Brits Tactical Response Team.

READ | Man who killed Cape Town cop gets 8 years

Hlongwane, who was 35, was walking along Letlhabile main road when his friend, driving a BMW, stopped for a chat, said police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Amanda Funani.

"They were still chatting when two unknown males confronted them and pointed firearms at them. The men shot the constable, who managed to return fire and shot one of them. The third man came in a getaway car, picked up the wounded suspect and dropped him at the Letlhabile clinic," Funani said.

The other suspect drove off in the vehicle belonging to Hlongwane's friend. Hlongwane was certified dead at the scene, but his friend was unharmed.

"Upon becoming aware of what happened, taxi operators and some members of the community followed the suspect's car to the clinic, where they allegedly assaulted the wounded suspect, who was later certified dead," Funani said.

During the investigation, a stolen BMW and the getaway car were recovered on Saturday 3 June 2017 in Soshanguve, Gauteng. The suspects were apprehended on Friday 4 August 2017 in Mabopane.

Besides the life sentences, Mokoebo and Maleka were also sentenced to an additional 47 years in prison for the murder of their accomplice, two counts of aggravated robbery and the unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

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