“As the NPA we will continue to play our part to ensure that those who kill police officers who are doing their duties to protect our society, are prosecuted successfully and pay dearly for their actions,” NPA spokesman Eric Ntabazalila said in a statement.
Ntabazalila said although the sentence would not bring back the loss both families had suffered, he hoped they would find solace knowing Fillipus would not hurt other people.
Fillipus, 29, was convicted last week of murdering constables Pindiwe Nikani, 26, and Mandisi Nduku, 27. The constables were shot dead while on duty at Imizamo Yethu, in Hout Bay, last October.
Nikani died on the scene and Nduku, who was seriously wounded, died later in hospital.
After being questioned by the judge, it was established that Fillipus had a Grade Seven education, had worked as a boilermaker for about a year and had left for South Africa in 2004 when he lost his job.
He settled in the Mandela Park informal settlement in Hout Bay and bought a home there when he met his girlfriend. At the time of the shooting, he was selling goods to people on the street.
On Wednesday, Fillipus maintained his innocence in a room packed with relatives of the policemen and off-duty police officers at the Western Cape High Court.
He took the stand to convince Judge Patricia Goliath that he should not be given the minimum prescribed sentence of life in prison for police killings.
“I’m worried I’ve been found guilty of something I didn’t commit. I’m also worried at leaving my [three-year-old] child behind and my girlfriend,” he said through his Oshiwambo-speaking interpreter.
Samantha Raphaels, for the State, asked the court on Wednesday to impose two life sentences for the murders, and five-year sentences for illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Raphaels said both officers were killed “execution style” which was an aggravating factor, that Fillipus had not shown any remorse and that nothing was taken from the officers after they were killed.
“It is clear that the accused was purely there to shoot and kill. There was a direct intention to kill those officers,” Raphaels said.