Luvo Mlandu has been handed a life sentence for the drunken murder of Cape Town Traffic officer, Deon Sampson, in August 2020.
The 40-year-old taxi driver ran the officer over during a roadblock in Khayelitsha. According to reports, Mlandu fled the scene while waiting in line for routine inspection in Spine Road. Sampson is understood to have been standing in front of the vehicle when Mlandu accelerated, ignoring calls to stop.
Traumatized colleagues recalled how the 46-year-old had held onto the front of the taxi for around 200 meters, before letting go and being run over. Colleagues then fired shots at Mlandu’s tyres, bringing the vehicle to a halt in Oscar Mpetha Road.
At the time, reports indicate that Mlandu’s blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit. It is alleged that he was previously convicted of drunk driving in 2015 and also faced culpable homicide charges.
On Thursday, the gallery was packed with Sampsons’ loved ones, many of whom were coworkers who revered him as a devoted husband and good father.
Apart from the 25- year life sentence and following a plea and sentence agreement with the State; Mlandu was handed a further five years’ imprisonment for the attempted murder of two fellow officials- Sandiso Mbongela and Arthur Releli. An additional three years was added for violating Traffic offences, on charges of driving under the influence and failure to render assistance.
The sentence was widely welcomed, with the City’s Safety and Security Directorates spokesperson JP Smith having said he was hopeful it would bring some closure to the deceased’ loved ones.
Sampsons’ despondent wife, Lucian, admitted she was still grieving. Speaking outside the Western Cape High Court, she says her late husband would consider the sentence a slap on the wrist.
by Tauhierah Salie