Pretoria - A police officer has been jailed for 10 years for killing a street vendor in Pretoria, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said on Tuesday.
The High Court in Pretoria sentenced Constable Joel Kekana on Monday, said Ipid spokesman Moses Dlamini.
He was convicted for killing Rwandan refugee Paul Ndayambe in November 2009.
Kekana was also sentenced to three years for possession of an unlicensed firearm and six months for the possession of unlicensed ammunition.
The sentences would run concurrently, said Dlamini.
“The sentencing follows the conclusion of a trial emanating from an Ipid 1/8the then Independent Complaints Directorate 3/8 investigation into the killing of a street vendor by two policemen in November 2009 in the Pretoria CBD,” he said.
“Accused number two, Constable Godfrey Moyahabo Masinga, was acquitted on all charges.”
Dlamini said on November 2, 2009, the police constables, who were off-duty at the time, were on their way home from a pub and were under the influence of alcohol.
They stopped next to a street vendor and started eating the meat he was selling. The vendor asked the officers to pay.
“It is alleged that the police officers refused to pay, and a fight ensued. During the scuffle, the vendor overpowered the two officers and grabbed a bottle with which he hit Const Masinga on the forehead,” he said.
Dlamini said Masinga went home to fetch his service pistol, returned and continued to fight with Ndayambe.
“While they were fighting with the deceased, the firearm fell to the ground and Const Kekana picked it up and shot at the deceased on the left shoulder and the head, killing him instantly.”
The police officers were arrested and witnesses pointed them out during an identity parade.
“The Ipid is satisfied with the sentence as it proves that the bad elements are being rooted out of the ranks of our police. This can only restore public confidence in the police,” Dlamini said. - Sapa