A man has been sentenced to an effective 25 years imprisonment for the murder of a civilian in Katlehong while the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) was enforcing the Covid-19 level 5 lockdown in 2020.
Siphiwe Ndlovu, a former police officer who was a security guard at the time, was sentenced in the Johannesburg high court on Thursday to 25 years for murder, five years for each of three counts of attempted murder, five years for unlawful possession of a firearm and two years for possession of ammunition without a license.
Sibusiso Amos was fatally shot inside his property during an argument with EMPD officers chasing patrons from a nearby tavern.
“Amos was shot at close range with live ammunition while standing behind a locked burglar gate. The bullet was fired from one of the EMPD officers’ shotgun,” said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane.
Mjonondwane said three children in the house were wounded during the shooting.
Ndlovu told the court he picked up the shotgun soon after an officer fell down during an attack by members of the community.
There was an unequal balance of power as the deceased was unarmed on the locked veranda.
“He then saw a scuffle inside the yard between Amos and EMPD officers. He approached and fired shots towards Amos to scare him off to stop the scuffle,” Mjonondwane said.
State advocate Rolene Barnard argued that Ndlovu was a former police officer and received training in using firearms.
Barnard asked the court to consider that Amos was shot in the sanctity of his own home, unarmed and without any provocation.
In giving reasons for a departure from the minimum prescribed sentence of 15 years for murder, Judge Thifhelimbilu Mudau said Ndlovu’s murder was a senseless killing in full view of his family.
“He said the accused was in a position of power and authority as he acted with the EMPD. There was an unequal balance of power as the deceased was unarmed on the locked veranda. The deceased was unable to protect himself. Though he could have assisted the deceased after he was shot the accused just walked away without helping or securing the scene,” Mjonondwane said.
The NPA commended the work done by senior investigator Hlanganiso Gladwin Ndlovu from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) and Barnard in delivering justice to Amos’ family.