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Cape Town -
Brazen, cold-blooded and ruthless was how the Western Cape High Court described the attack on two Hout Bay police officers, who were gunned down late last year.
Judge Patricia Goliath sentenced Fabianus Fillipus to two life terms for the murders of constables Phindiwe Nikani, 26, and Mandisi Nduku, 27, and five years for the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Fillipus’s sentences will run concurrently.
Judge Goliath said the officers had been shot execution-style by Fillipus after they had confronted him about moving his white BMW that was parked in front of a shebeen in Mandela Park.
Fillipus complied, but about 20 minutes later returned and shot the officers in their police vehicle.
“A simple argument led to a vicious grudge that led him to return later. Their firearms were still intact so robbery as a motive can safely be excluded. Fillipus decided to settle the score in the most heinous manner.”
Judge Goliath said Fillipus had ambushed the officers, shooting Nikani four times and Nduku once.
“He was brazen, cold-blooded and ruthless. Fillipus conducted himself with a flagrant disregard for human life.”
Judge Goliath said the rate at which police officers were killed in South Africa was alarming, referring to the State’s argument that seven police officers had been killed in the Western Cape since July.
“Violence as a means of resolving conflict has no place in a democratic society. Society places its trust in the police to protect it, but now the police are becoming the victims of crime. The death of a police officer has a profound impact on society. Police officers are the protectors of society and people are generally appalled by the senseless attacks on police.”
The judge said the emphasis should be placed on deterrence rather than on the other elements of sentencing such as rehabilitation and retribution.
When he was told to stand to hear the judge’s sentence, he rose to his feet and stretched. Then, fiddling with a white beanie in his hands, he stared at her impassively as she sentenced him to life imprisonment.
After sentence was passed, Nikani’s husband, Simon Mkwani, said he was satisfied but added he wouldn’t forgive Fillipus.
“I will never be able to forgive him because my two-year-old child lost her mother,” Mkwani said.
Of the way forward, Mkwani said: “God will guide me.”