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Johannesburg - Two of the men responsible for the 2015 shooting on the N3 highway that claimed the lives of two police officers are set to spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Sandile Nyathikazi and Lucky Nzama were sentenced to 125 years and two life sentences after being convicted of three counts of murder, attempted murder, three counts of robbery with aggravating circumstances among other charges.

Nyathikazi and Nzama were members of a gang that tried to rob a truck transporting cellphones and cellphone parts from OR Tambo International Airport to a logistics company in Edenvale.

According to National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane, the trial revealed the men’s eight other conspirators.

They recruited security officers escorting the truck, and even the driver was allegedly involved. On March 27, 2015, they hijacked the Mercedes-Benz to be used in the robbery. On March 29, three police officers from Sandringham noticed a BMW driving recklessly. They gave chase and managed to stop the car.

However, before the officers could get out of their vehicle, the Mercedes stopped behind them and men from both vehicles opened fire.

“The police officers and their vehicle were riddled with bullets. One of the officers was dead in the back seat.”

A second officer died at the scene, while his surviving colleague managed to avoid the gunfire. After fleeing, the men were arrested in KwaZulu-Natal with the help of the SAPS crime intelligence unit.

Constables Mthokozisi Myeza and Casey Mafokoane were described as guardians of the community whose deaths had robbed the SAPS of fine members.

Mjonondwane said the NPA welcomed the lengthy prison sentence.

Saturday Star