926 30.07.2012 Student constable Sipho Mbatha, who shot and killed 16 year old Thato Mokoka early this year. Appears before the Johannesburg High Court for the murder of Mokoka. Mbatha (said this in his evidence) apparently shot and killed the 16 year old as the gun he was carrying went off mistakenly and firing 8 bullets to the young man’s body at his home in Braamfisherville in Soweto. Picture:Itumeleng English


Student constable Sipho Mbatha, accused of shooting dead Soweto teenager Thato Mokoka, was found guilty of murder by the High Court in Johannesburg on Friday.


Mbatha had been part of the team of police officers who raided Thato’s room [a shack] at his grandmother’s house in Bramfischerville, Soweto.

Police had been acting on a tip-off that Thato was part of a gang that was terrorising the area and had a firearm.

While other officers searched Thato’s room, Mbatha kept guard over Thato, who was lying on his abdomen outside his room when he was shot. - Sapa