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Johannesburg - A Limpopo police constable has been sentenced to life in prison in the Thohoyandou High Court for the robbery and murder of a spaza shop owner, police said on Thursday.  

Police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said that during his trial Constable Kulani Obert Manganyi, 37, refused to reveal the identity of his accomplice in the 2014 murder.

''Manganyi together with his accomplice grabbed Abdulah Hassan Omar, a 27-year-old spaza shop owner at Hlanganani RDP Section, forced him into his room where there were three other victims and held them hostage.

''Mr Omar was shot twice in the stomach and died instantly. The two suspects took an amount of R3000 cash before fleeing the scene on foot.'' 

Forensic investigations led to Manganyi's arrest, whose firearm was linked to the crime through ballistic tests. 

He was sentenced to a further 15 years for the armed robbery.

''His failure to cooperate with the police investigation in revealing the identity of his accomplice did not spare him any moment as he was ultimately convicted and sentenced alone for the murder of Mr Omar,'' said Mojapelo. 

The sentences will run concurrently. 

African News Agency/ANA