Durban — The SAPS Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) has been hailed by the family of Sergeant Sibongile Mbanjwa who was killed in May 2021.
Sergeant Mbanjwa was stationed at Phoenix detectives and her killers were sentenced by the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
Siyabonga Dlungwana, who was Sergeant Mbanjwa’s boyfriend, said if it was not for the police and all the parties involved, who dedicated themselves to solving the case, they were not going to receive closure and be able to forgive.
Sergeant Mbanjwa was with Dlungwana in a parked vehicle on Ndwedwe Road in Verulam, when two armed brothers Nkosikhona Luthuli, 28 and Kusakwendoda Luthuli 42, accosted them 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 sugarcane field.
The brothers searched for him in the field without success and fled the scene. Sergeant Mbanjwa was declared dead on the scene.
Hawks spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo said a case of murder, attempted murder and robbery was reported at Verulam police station and the case docket was allocated to Hawks members from the Durban Serious Organised Crime Investigation unit.
“Two weeks later, the accused were arrested and charged. They appeared in court several times and their bail was successfully opposed until they were convicted. They were both sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, five years’ imprisonment for attempted murder and five years’ imprisonment for robbery,” said Captain Mhlongo.
Dlungwana said they were satisfied with the sentencing.
“We are happy they got life imprisonment. Life will never be the same but we will learn to forgive,” he said.
He added that he was happy with how the police handled the case.
“This was not an easy case but the manner in which the investigating officer and his team worked got us to this stage. He was always communicating with us. We are happy with how everything went during the trial. I know that she will not come back and things will never be the same but we got closure,” he said.
Thandeka Mbanjwa, 41, the sister of the deceased said they were very happy with the outcome and how the case was handled. She said other people, including police, die and no justice is served because of lack of evidence.
“We would like to thank the police for their hard work and the State prosecutor (advocate Krishen Shah). We are happy and satisfied with the sentencing,” she said.
She added that they were glad to have got closure early as the case did not drag for long.
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