A South African police officer was sentenced to life imprisonment plus seven years after he was convicted on charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice in the Western Cape high court.
Sergeant Thanduxolo Mbonyana was convicted of the March 2018 murder of Lusanda Mpumelelo Makosana, with whom he had had an argument, National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said in a statement dated Thursday.
Mbonyana had gone to visit his girlfriend at a house party in Mandela Park in Khayelitsha, when he saw Makosana’s vehicle parked in the yard. Upon entering the house, he found Makosana in the kitchen with two others.
According to Ntabazalila, without warning, the police sergeant drew his service firearm and shot Makosana in the chest.
When the victim fell, Mbonyana shot him several more times, then dragged him by his shoulders out of the house and placed his body into his own vehicle. This happened in view of those attending the party.
Mbonyana then took Makosana’s body away and dumped it in another part of the area.
He also tampered with the crime scene by attempting to clean up the blood with a mop, water, and household detergents, before collecting and removing the bullet casings.
He also changed his bloodstained clothes and washed them at the house where the crime took place.
Makosana’s body was discovered on March 4, 2018, with his pants pulled halfway down his legs, Ntabazalila said.
Mbonyana was subsequently arrested and later released on bail, but the self-confessed heavy drinker and cocaine user landed in hot water with the law again after he was arrested on a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances in September 2019.
State prosecutor Advocate Dail Andrews said Mbonyana was a police officer who was supposed to uphold the law, but had instead tarnished the trust in the force and damaged the relationship between police and the public.
Andrews said Mbonyana acted in premeditation and clear precision from the time he committed the murder to when he started covering up his crime.
Mbonyana’s robbery case is still underway in the Bellville regional court and he is expected to plead to the charge on May 31.
–African News Agency
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