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Durban - A police officer who used his service pistol to murder six people has been handed six life sentences for murder, and an additional 50 years for attempted murder of five other people.

The former police officer, Lungisani Arnold Mgaga, 30, was sentenced in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Friday.

The police in KwaZulu-Natal said he had been in police custody since 2015, with his co-accused, Themba Mvelase, 32, being sentenced last year for five life terms - also for murder.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said the men had shot at a Mercedes Benz with five occupants, killing 30-year-old Happy Hlomuka.

About an hour later, they shot dead five people at a car wash at Ezakheni and injured others.

“All these cases were opened at Ezakheni police station and provincial task team was tasked to vigorously investigate these incidents. After an intensive investigation, the accused who was based in Gauteng was identified and arrested for both incidents.

“He was charged with six counts of murder and five counts of attempted murder. He is also the subject of other murder cases in KZN and will appear in court again soon to face these charges,” said Zwane.

Zwane said the deceased in the car wash shooting were Muzi Dlamini, Sfundo Dlamini, Mlungisi Dlamini, Menzi Mvelase and Makhekhe Mathebula.  

The killings happened on October 11 2014 at about 5pm for the Mercedes Benz killing, and around 6pm for the car wash killings.

Daily News