The family of a police officer who was lured to his death with a fake roll of money has finally seen justice done this week. Three of the gangsters involved were sentenced to life imprisonment and a fourth got 20 years behind bars.
Judge Mmonoa Teffo in December convicted a 25-year-old Johannesburg woman, Mandisa Mayezana, Zimbabwean citizen Nkosinathi Ndlovu, 38, Zukisa Mablayi, 34, and Bheki Mhlongo, 67, of murdering Major Malose Tselana in December 2012. The major worked for human resource management at the head office of the South African Police Service in Pretoria.
The trial was eventually moved to the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge, where Judge Teffo this week sentenced Mhlongo, Mablayi and Ndlovu to life imprisonment for murder, with an additional 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances. Mayezana, who lured Tselana into the trap, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for the murder and 12 years on the robbery charge.
Ndlovu and Mablayi were on the look-out for anyone withdrawing a large amount of money. They identified the policeman as a victim when he withdrew R23 000 in cash from a bank in the Pretoria city centre. Mayezana was used to lure Tselana into a trap by dropping a stack of note-sized papers, rolled in a real bank note, in front of him.
She pretended she wanted to share the money with him. She then led Tselana to a secluded spot on the outskirts of the city, with some of the other accused following them. Tselana was tied up, his skull was smashed and he was left in the veld near the Pretoria zoo, where his body was found three days later.
Mhlongo had acted as getaway driver and transported the gang from Johannesburg to Pretoria and back. Mayezana made two confessions about the incident, in which she explained how the robbery had been planned and how she had lured the victim to a pre-arranged spot.
She was told the victim was a policeman and that it was police payday. She had seen Tselana trying to get away and Ndlovu grabbing him by the neck before she ran away. According to Mayezana’s confession, her share of the loot was R4 000 and their victim’s cellphone, which she later sold for R300.