Eight years’ imprisonment for KZN cop who killed man inside police van

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A file image of a police officer walking past a police van.
A file image of a police officer walking past a police van.

“It was not direct intention,” said a Tugela Ferry police officer who pleaded guilty to shooting and killing a man inside a police van.

Sergeant Nkosikhona Ndlovu’s matter was finalised in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Monday, where he admitted to killing 32-year-old Lindelani Mkhize.

The 46-year-old police officer was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment.

Mkhize was shot and killed in the head by Ndlovu at the petrol station in Msinga, northern KwaZulu-Natal, on September 1, 2020.

In his guilty plea, Ndlovu said Mkhize and his friends were drunk and behaving disorderly at the petrol station not far from Msinga Police Station.

Ndlovu said two of his colleagues proceeded to the petrol station in order to fill one of the vans with petrol.

He said Mkhize and his friends continued with their disorderly behaviour and started to swear at his two colleagues.

Ndlovu told the court that Mkhize was the rowdiest hence his colleague approached him and requested him to desist from his bad behaviour, however, Mkhize swore and spat at his colleague.

His colleague attempted to arrest Mkhize and a fight broke out.

Mkhize managed to bite his colleague’s left eyebrow to such an extent that flesh was ripped out resulting in a serious open wound.

Another colleague came to assist and they managed to push Mkhize into the police van while he was still swearing and kicking. They slammed the door shut before searching and handcuffing Mkhize.

He said the pair then called for back-up.

Ndlovu added when he arrived at the scene, the bitten officer was bleeding profusely and Ndlovu was told that Mkhize was hit, searched and handcuffed because he was violent.

Ndlovu then went to the back of the van and when he opened the door of the police van, Mkhize called him by his mother’s private part and lunged towards him.

Ndlovu told the court that he fired one shot which struck Mkhize in his head.

“It was not the direct intention of Ndlovu to murder Mkhize but rather to bring him under control by firing a warning shot,” added the plea.

However, it also said Ndlovu admits that he foresaw the possibility that Mkhize may be struck when he fired a shot into the back of the van.

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