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Conviction, sentencing of Phoenix sergeant’s murderers is on the Hawks’ success list

Sergeant Sibongile Mbanjwa was killed in 2021 while in a vehicle with her partner. Picture: SUPPLIED

Sergeant Sibongile Mbanjwa was killed in 2021 while in a vehicle with her partner. Picture: SUPPLIED

Published Sep 4, 2023


Durban — A Phoenix police sergeant’s murder made it on to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation’s (DPCI-Hawks) success list achieved in the first quarter of the 2023/24 financial year.

On Monday, Hawks head Lieutenant General (Dr/Adv) Godfrey Lebeya (Soeg) held the fifth public update of successes achieved by the Hawks.

Lebeya said attacks on police officials are an attack on the state, and the death of one police official is one too many.

“For the first quarter only, we noted with concern that 31 (11 on-duty; 20 off-duty) police officials were killed in 30 incidents. During the same period, 24 arrests were made.

“A total number of nine convictions were secured on the murder of police officials, eight of which share nine life terms and a combined period of more than 100 years’ imprisonment,” Lebeya said.

“The nine lifers are: Ntuthuko Dalingcebo Mabaso, 29, Nkosikhona Simphiwe Luthuli, 29, Kusakwendoda Simplex Luthuli, 43, Thabang Motaung, 42, Hlabirwa Rassie Nkune, 37, Arkim Phathisani Masuku, 32, Sithembiso Andile Mbona, 27, Saziso Trevor Khambule, 26. The ninth criminal Nhlakanipho Ndovela, 25, received 30 years’ imprisonment.”

Lebeya said that this financial year is going to be higher than last year when the Hawks secured nine life imprisonment sentences.

The murder of Phoenix Sergeant Sibongile Mbanjwa was a success achieved against a cop killer, Lebeya said.

Lebeya said that at about 10pm on May 4, 2021, Mbanjwa of Phoenix detectives, was shot dead in a state vehicle when she and her colleague were attacked.

A case of murder and robbery was reported at Verulam police station. The case was allocated to Hawks members from the Durban Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit.

“Two weeks later, Nkosikhona Luthuli and Kusakwendoda Luthuli were arrested. They appeared in court several times and their bail was successfully opposed,” Lebeya said.

“On April 21, 2023, the Verulam Regional Court convicted and sentenced both accused to life imprisonment for murder, five years’ imprisonment for attempted murder and five years’ imprisonment for robbery.”

The Daily News reported that the Luthulis accosted Mbanjwa and Siyabonga Dlungwana and made certain demands.

Dlungwana tried to flee but the brothers fired shots at the vehicle, fatally wounding Mbanjwa and the vehicle crashed into a boulder. Dlungwana managed to flee and hide in a sugar cane field.

The brothers searched for him in the field without success and fled the scene. Mbanjwa was declared dead on the scene.

Dlungwana said they were satisfied with the sentencing.

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Daily News