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Former JMPD traffic officer escapes prison time for shooting woman in taxi

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – A former Johannesburg Metro Police Department traffic officer has been convicted on attempted murder charges, but will escape prison time, after he wounded a woman when he shot at a minibus taxi when the driver failed to stop at a roadblock.

Constable David Nyiko Mpangela was in the Orlando Magistrate’s Court sentenced to three years imprisonment, which was suspended wholly for five years.

Two of the five years will be served under correctional supervision.

In October 2015, JMPD police officers were conducting an operation near the Bara Taxi Rank in Soweto.

They had been checking the roadworthiness and status of minibus taxis.

But during the operation, one minibus taxi driver failed to stop at the roadblock and sped off.

Mpangela shot at the minibus taxi and wounded a passenger who was sitting in the back.

The woman received treatment at a hospital.

Ndileka Cola, a spokesperson for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), said the police watchdog investigated the matter and provided the necessary information to secure the former policeman’s conviction.

“The Ipid remains committed to its oversight role over the law enforcement agencies without fear or favour in this country, to ensure justice for victims of alleged police misconduct,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Ipid in KwaZulu-Natal is investigating the death of a person as a result of police action in Nkandla.

Police officer Constable Buyisani Biyela, 28, is accused of murder after he had an altercation with four men at a petrol station.

It is alleged Biyela, who was off duty at the time, tried to purchase food while not wearing a mask.

“There was an exchange of words between the member and four other males (whom he found at the station) which led to one of them assaulting the member. The police officer allegedly fired shots, fatally wounding one male while others fled the scene.

“The accused has been arrested, Ipid attended the post-mortem which was held at Eshowe on the October 13,” said Cola.

The police officer’s bail application will resume on Friday in the Nkandla Magistrate’s Court.

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