File picture: Pixabay

Pietermaritzburg - Former KwaZulu-Natal police officer Lungisani Arnold Mgaga, 30, has been sentenced in the Pietermaritzburg High Court to six life imprisonment terms on six counts of murder, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Saturday.

On Friday Mgaga was also handed a total of 50 years imprisonment on five counts of attempted murder, Lt-Col Thulani Zwane said.

Mgaga had been in custody since his arrest in 2015. He was found in possession of his service pistol which was used in the commission of the crimes. His co-accused, Themba Mvelase, 32, who was sentenced last year, is already serving life imprisonment on five counts of murder and 10 years on five counts of attempted murder, he said.

"On 11 October, 2014, at [5.10pm], a Mercedes Benz vehicle with five occupants was travelling at Pieters Road when it was attacked by unknown suspects who opened fire, killing one person who was identified as Happy Hlomuka, 30.

"Four other occupants were wounded and taken to hospital for treatment. Less than an hour later another shooting was reported at a car wash in D section at Ezakheni, where five people were shot and killed.

"One victim was wounded during the shooting and was taken to hospital for treatment. The deceased were identified as Muzi Dlamini, Sfundo Dlamini, Mlungisi Dlamini, Menzi Mvelase, and Makhekhe Mathebula.  All these cases were opened at Ezakheni police station and [the] 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," Zwane said.

African News Agency (ANA)