A former South African Police Service (SAPS) officer was sentenced to 33 years’ imprisonment for murder and attempted murder.
Constable Lindani Liberty Ngobese, 34, appeared at the Mtubatuba Magistrate’s Court where he was sentenced for the crimes he committed in December 2018 in the Mnqobokazi area of Hluhluwe, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN).
Ngobese was a member of the SAPS’s National Intervention Unit, based in Durban, at the time the crimes were committed.
According to the National Prosecution Authority (NPA), Ngobese was at a wedding when an argument ensued between him and a group of men which led to him firing shots with his service pistol.
“The shots resulted in two of the men being wounded and two others died in the process,” NPA spokesperson Natasha Kara said in a statement.
Kara added that the constable handed himself over to the authorities at the Hluhluwe police station.
She further said testimonies of the surviving victims, eyewitnesses and police officers who attended the crime scene were given, which was led by regional court prosecutor Thabisile Ncanana.
“Ngobese’s version to the court was that he had acted in self-defense.
“To further bolster the state’s case, Ncanana handed in victim impact statements facilitated by Court Preparation Officer, Mandisa Sikakane, compiled by the victims as well as the family of the deceased.”
The Director of Public Prosecutions in KZN, Advocate Elaine Zungu, welcomed Ngobese’s sentencing and further said the constable actions were “unwarranted and unnecessary”.
“Society looks to police officers for safety and protection, instead, the accused was responsible for the loss of innocent lives,” Zungu said.