Tebogo Msimanga |
The Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday, 17 June 2021 dismissed the application for leave to appeal the conviction of the four police officers, Samuel Thembinkosi Nkosi (34), Saziso James Mthalane (51), Mlungisi Phiwayinkosi Sithole (34)and Andre Visser(51) who were in court for charges of assault, murder and defeating the ends of justice.
The four police officers from the Pietermaritzburg Public Order Policing Unit arrived at the house of the deceased Sibuyiselo Zulu, who was 27 years then in Msinga Area, acting on a tip-off that he had an unlicensed firearm.
Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) Spokesperson Ndileka Cola said the police took the deceased to a separate room and interrogated, strangled and assaulted him until he passed away. “After that, police officers left with his lifeless body to a secluded area and dumped his body on the road.”
Cola said IPID investigated this case from 2017. Nkosi and Mathalane were both sentenced to thirteen (13) years imprisonment for murder and an additional six(6) years for defeating the ends of justice.
Sithole is sentenced to nine years direct imprisonment for murder and six (6) years defeating the ends of justice. Visser is sentenced to seven(7) years in prison for murder, he will also serve six (6) additional years for defeating the ends of justice.
The Pietermaritzburg High Court ruled that the four officers have no basis to appeal the conviction and the sentence.
IPID welcomed this sentence and re-iterated its stance that police officers are not a law unto themselves.