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Johannesburg - The South African police has welcomed multiple life sentences handed down to a convicted murderer by the South Gauteng High Court.

On Monday, 28-year-old Francisco Miller was found guilty of three counts of murder and other serious offences related to gang activity in Sophiatown, Johannesburg.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said Miller was arrested during an intelligence-led operation in Elsies River, Cape Town, in April 2017 following an incident where three suspects from Cape Town arrived at Dorothea Flats in Newclare, Johannesburg, armed with R5 rifles and handguns. 

A man was shot and killed through the window of a flat while two other victims were killed during a shoot-out between two rival gangs.

"Miller will effectively serve 40 years behind bars after pleading guilty for three counts of murder for which he was handed 30 years per murder, attempted murder with eight years, aggravated robbery with 15 years, possession of unlicensed firearms another 15 years, and possession of ammunition with four years," said Peters.

Police have since last year intensified crime combating efforts in Sophiatown and the broader Westbury policing precinct following the violent protests that erupted in September 2018 where community members accused police of not doing enough in relation to fighting gangsterism and drugs.

Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, Gauteng Commissioner of Police, commended the efforts of the investigating officers whose commitment and diligence brought about the successful conviction and sentence.

African News Agency (ANA)