MPUMALANGA: Sydney Mashaba (44), Frans Nathibela (45) and Khayelile Welcome Ngubane (38) have been sentenced to life imprisonment each and a further 20 years by the Evander Regional Court on Wednesday 12th July 2017 after they were found guilty for the murder of a police officer. The trio were also found guilty on 10 other charges including car hijacking, possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition ,theft of motor vehicle and robbery.

On 18 February 2017 an off duty police officer, the late Constable Phumlani Nxumalo (44) who was stationed at Secunda ACCU had parked his vehicle alongside the road at Kinross, Afghanistan when Mashaba, Nathibela and Ngubane approached him. The trio ordered him to get out of his vehicle and when he tried to defend himself, he was hit on the head with the butt of a firearm and he fell down. The trio sped-off with his vehicle before abandoning it at Duba Park next to a tavern. Constable Nxumalo tried to get up and run for help but few meters from the scene he succumbed to his injuries and died.

As if that was not enough the three men hijacked a woman on 19 February 2017. They took her to the bushes where they undressed and left her there, before fleeing with her vehicle. The trio went to Middleburg where they committed robbery.

The trio was arrested on 20 February 2017 and investigations positively linked them to all the three cases. The accused were denied bail and were in custody until they were sentenced.

The sentences were tabled as follows:
Count 1-For Police murder all three accused each sentenced to life imprisonment
Count 2- Car Hijacking two accused sentenced to 20 years imprisonment each
Count 3 – One accused sentenced to 18 years imprisonment.