DURBAN, South Africa – After a case spanning almost four years was closed by investigators from the Provincial Organised Crime unit, three KwaZulu-Natal men were sentenced to life in prison at the Pietermaritzburg High Court.
Xolani Ntsalaze aka Lovu, 33, Vusumuzi Ngubane aka Professor, 32, and Siphosakhe Mbatha aka Somatekisi, 34, were all convicted on September 18 for murder and robbery.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said on Monday that the three men were sentenced to life in prison and an additional 20 years for aggravated robbery for murdering a shop owner in 2016.
Madinda Bhekezakhe Dlamini, 52, a tuck shop owner from Esigcakini Reserve, an area in the western parts of KwaZulu-Natal, around 100km from the Durban central business district, was gunned down inside his shop on September 7, 2016.
Ntsalaze, Ngubane and Mbatha then allegedly fired at Madinda Dlamini, killing him.
The three men then took Dlamini’s licensed firearm as well as three cellular devices from his shop.
“A case of murder and robbery was opened at Richmond police station and was assigned to the Provincial Organised Crime investigation detectives for investigation,” said Mbele.
The three men were arrested a year after the incident and kept in police custody throughout their trial.
When asked why the suspects were only arrested a year after, Mbele told African News Agency (ANA) that they had to conduct a “thorough investigation first”. The police have described the investigation as exhaustive.