By Jonk wa Mashamba
The High Court of South Africa: Gauteng Local Division, Johannesburg sentenced a former police officer, Siphiwe Ndlovu to an effective 25 years imprisonment for the murder of a civilian in Katlehong during the first lockdown.
Ndlovu was sentenced to 25 years for murder, five years for each of the three counts of attempted murder, five years for unlawful possession of firearm and two years for possession of ammunition without license.
Sibusiso Amos was fatally shot by a security guard in March 2020 in Vosloorus when officers from the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) implemented the Level 5 containment regulations.
Amos was shot in the yard of his home after an argument broke out between him and EMPD officers who were chasing customers from a nearby tavern.
Three children in the house were also injured as a result of the shooting.
Amos was shot at close range with live ammunition while standing behind a locked gate. The bullet was fired from one of the EMPD officers’ shot gun.
According to NPA spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwane, Ndlovu told the court that he picked up the gun soon after the officer fell down following an attack from members of the community.
0He then saw a scuffle inside the yard between Amos and EMPD officers. He approached and fired shots towards Amos to scare him off in order to stop the scuffle.
The Senior State Advocate, Rolene Barnard argued that Ndlovu was a former police officer and received training in using firearms. She asked the court to consider that Amos was shot at the sanctity of his own home, unarmed and without any provocation.
In giving reasons for the departure from the minimum prescribed sentence of 15 years for murder, the Judge, Thifhelimbilu Mudau remarked that Ndlovu’s murder was a senseless killing, in full view of his family members.
He said that the accused was in a position of power and authority as he acted with EMPD. There was an unequal balance of power as the deceased was unarmed on the locked veranda. The deceased was unable to protect himself.
Although he could have assisted the deceased after he was shot, the accused just walked away without helping or securing the scene.
“The NPA commends the work done by the senior investigator, Hlanganiso Gladwin Ndlovu from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and Advocate Rolene Barnard for their efforts in delivering justice to Amos’ family,” said Mjonondwane.