KWAZULU-NATAL – The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) have welcomed the life sentences given to a suspect who was responsible for the death of a police officer in November 2015.

On Monday the Mthunzini High Court convicted and sentenced Msawenkosi Ngema (29) to life imprisonment for murder of Warrant Officer Jerico Mdletshe. Ngema was further sentenced five years for attempted murder.

On 16 November 2015 two on duty police officers from Gingindlovu Police Station responded to a complaint of suspicious motor vehicles along R102 road near local shopping mall. Upon arrival they were shot at by unknown suspects and Warrant Officer Mdletshe died at the scene. Constable Senzo Ndwandwe sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was taken to hospital for medical attention.

The suspects fled the scene in their getaway vehicle which was later found abandoned not far from the crime scene. Ngema was later arrested by Richards Bay Serious Organised Crime Investigation team in 2017. He was successfully linked with the crime scene and denied bail until he was sentenced.

The National Head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya has welcomed the life sentence handed down by the Mthunzini High Court as well as congratulated the investigating and prosecutorial teams for their achievement.
Police Minister General Bheki Cele<> also welcomed the judgment. “Attacking and killing a police officer is a direct attack on the state and we will continue to work closely with the criminal justice system to ensure that those who attack the state are handed hefty sentences,” Minister Cele said.
Ngema’s sentence will run concurrently.