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Lengthy jail sentences for detainees who strangled a police officer

Image: 123rf/ Allan Swart

Four men accused of killing  Warrant Officer John Ngwane in June 2015 were sentenced in the Esikhaleni regional court in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said Ngwane was on routine patrol inside the police holding cells when he was attacked by the four men.

“He was overpowered and strangled by detainees who wanted to escape [from custody],” she said.

Gwala said one of Ngwane's colleagues managed to get assistance from other police officers and the detainees were taken back into custody. A case of murder was opened at the Esikhaleni police station and the fourmen  were  charged with murder. Siyabonga Maseko, 24, Sibusiso Qwabe, 29, and Busani Masinga, 24, were each sentenced to 18 years' imprisonment while Minenhle Shobede, 19, was sentenced to 12 years.

“We condemn the killing of police officials because  they are not only deployed to serve and protect the community but they are also working to  provide for their families," said Gwala.

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