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Parolee gets life in jail for ‘callous’ cop killing

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A man who was out on parole when he fatally wounded a Nyanga police officer, was sentenced to life in jail on Tuesday.

The sentence comes just days after President Jacob Zuma said at a commemoration ceremony in Pretoria that police killings were an attack on the State and must be stopped.

Western Cape High Court Judge Elize Steyn said 31-year-old Siphiwo Zondani’s conduct on October 17 last year was “callous and deplorable”.

“It cannot be ignored that it is reported on a daily basis that attacks on police officers are escalating in the Western Cape.”

Steyn said she knew of two other matters in the province’s high court at present that involved the shooting of police officers.

Zondani received the prescribed minimum sentence of life for killing Detective Constable Mthetheleli Bernard Gunya.

Head wounds

Gunya, with Constable Vuyolwethu Mantashe and Sergeant Mvuyisi Booi, went to New Flats in Nyanga that day to trace a suspect in another matter.

While they were arresting the suspect, Zondani fired at Gunya and he died of gunshot wounds to the head.

Fleeing the scene with the suspect, Zondani continued to fire more shots at Mantashe.

Steyn sentenced him to the prescribed minimum sentence of 10 years for attempted murder.

He was given a combined five years for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The sentences would run concurrently.

Rehabilitation

Zondani has previous convictions for housebreaking, robbery and possession of a dangerous weapon.

The court was not persuaded that there was a realistic probability of rehabilitation.

“He has shown no remorse for his deeds, past and present; indeed he maintains that he is not guilty,” Steyn said.

Zondani, wearing a grey jersey and khaki pants, seemed unmoved by the court’s decision. News24


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