Pietermaritzburg - Former policeman Morne Croeser avoided a jail term when he was sentenced at the Pietermaritzburg High Court to one year’s imprisonment, suspended for five years, for assault.
His co-accused, SANDF soldier Paul Jeke, who was convicted of murder, was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.
Judge Jerome Mnguni convicted Jeke of shooting dead Sibekezelo Thembinkosi Ndlovu, 20, a passenger in a bakkie that had evaded a roadblock at Ingwavuma, where he and Croeser were on duty on June 8, 2010.
Croeser was convicted of assaulting the driver, Mthokozisi Manganyela, after he and Jeke had chased the bakkie for about a kilometre and Manganyela had surrendered.
According to the evidence heard during the trial, Manganyela had decided to avoid the roadblock because he didn’t have a driver’s licence.
Jeke and Croeser pursued the bakkie and forced it to stop after Croeser fired three warning shots.
When Ndlovu got out of the bakkie, he was shot dead by Jeke.
Judge Mnguni rejected Jeke’s claim that he acted in self defence because he mistakenly believed Ndlovu had a weapon in his hand.
Croeser, who had also been charged with murder, was acquitted because the judge found there was insufficient evidence to prove that he had formed a common purpose with Jeke to kill Ndlovu.
Croeser, a former member of the dog unit in Pietermaritzburg, was convicted in 2012 of murdering his wife, Erika, by stabbing her multiple times at their home in Albert Falls on August 28, 2010. He was sentenced to 23 years’ imprisonment.
Croeser claimed in his defence that an intruder had attacked both him and Erika as they returned home from a night out with friends.
The father of two is on bail pending the outcome of his appeal.