Several suspects standing trial for the murder and attempted murder of two police officers were handed hefty sentences by the High Court in Johannesburg.
The Hawks, in a statement on Tuesday, said Wintson Sibiya, Mchazeleni Gwabaza, Nkululeko Mkhwane, Sonnyboy Mkhwane, Siyabonga Dlwathi, Mxolisi Mazibuko and Sthembiso Khumalo were sentenced to life imprisonment on Friday.
They were also sentenced to an additional 70 years for attempted murder, unlawful possession of prohibited firearms, unlawful possession of unlicenced firearms and ammunition as well as robbery with aggravating circumstances, said spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale.
In 2015, the seven were caught in the act during a robbery in Jeppestown, Johannesburg.
When approached by two on-duty officers – sergeants Selby Hlabisa and Mashudu Ramabulana – some of the suspects opened fire, killing Hlabisa, while Ramabulana was unharmed.
According to the statement, three of the suspects were shot and injured after which they fled to the Jeppe hostel.
The police gave chase, searched the hostel and apprehended the suspects.
The seven were sentenced as follows:
Count 1: Life imprisonment for murder;
Count 2: Fifteen years direct imprisonment for attempted murder;
Count 3: Twenty years direct imprisonment for robbery with aggravating circumstances;
Count 4: Fifteen years direct imprisonment for the unlawful possession of prohibited firearms;
Count 5: Five years direct imprisonment for the unlawful possession of ammunition;
Count 6: Fifteen years direct imprisonment for the unlawful possession of unlicenced firearms.