File picture: SAPS (Twitter)
MTHATHA - Two men were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of a warrant officer during a shootout in 2015, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) said on Tuesday.

Msawenkosi Ngqongwa, 27, and Andisile Mbarha,30, were sentenced in the Mthatha High Court on Friday for the murder of warrant officer Cyprian Mlungiseleli Dukuza, 59, a statement from the Hawks said.

The case stems from an incident in March 2015 when a security guard as a business premises in Libode in the Eastern Cape reported suspicious sounds coming from a local post office, prompting Dukuza and his partner to respond to the call.

"Police swiftly reacted on the scene and a shootout ensued with a group of armed men. Warrant Officer Dukuza and a Sergeant were wounded," the Hawks said.

"The criminals then fled the scene and the two police members were then taken to hospital where Warrant Officer Dukuza succumbed to his injuries while the Sergeant recuperated following treatment."

The Hawks took over the investigation and arrested Ngqongwa and Mbarha almost a month later.

The two killers were also sentenced to seven years imprisonment for attempted murder, 27 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances, nine years for burglary, and four years for possession of an unlicenced firearm and ammunition. The sentences will run concurrently with the life sentence.

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African News Agency (ANA)