Though it has been two years since the the Jeppestown massacre in which four policemen and eight robbers were killed, the memory of the bloodbath remains fresh in the pysche of many South Africans.
But perhaps not with the same painful freshness that has persistently haunted the families of fallen policemen since that fateful day on June 25 2006.
Not even the life terms handed down to the 11 Jeppestown shootout gang members last Friday can erase the pain - though it might bring a measure of closure.
Crime leaves an indelible legacy for scores of families of police officers who die in the line of duty every year.
As the brazenness of the criminals becomes more pronounced through the ferocity of their crimes, so have police casualties risen and the number of widows and orphans.
But criminals can expect their noses to be bloodied if the country's criminal justice system sustains the resilience and single-minded purposefulness shown in this case.
In this case the wheels of justice displayed infinite patience and deliberate purpose over contrived delays and subterfuge apparently aimed at subverting the proceedings.
Many will agree that our country is a wee safer with the life-long incarceration of the Jeppestown beasts.
They deserve to rot in jail.