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RUSTENBURG – A 52-year-old man was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Stilfontein Taxi Association chairman Nyamezeli Jeffrey Bambani, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (better known as the Hawks) in the North West said on Monday.

Spokesperson Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said Simphiwe Mcunukeli was sentenced by the South Gauteng High Court, sitting in Klerksdorp on Friday.

Mcunukeli was paid R50 000 to kill Bambani, 59, over an apparent dispute regarding the taxi route from Khuma to Potchefstroom.

“On 3 August 2015, Mcunukeli entered Bambani’s home through the back door and proceeded to the living area where he shot and killed the victim before he fled the scene.  The local police were alerted and they immediately referred the matter to the Priority Violent Crimes unit of the Hawks in North West for further investigation,” said Rikhotso.

“An initial enquiry by the team, linked the suspect to the killing through witness statements, which then led to a serious pursuit for Mcunukeli. The intensive investigations led the team to Eastern Cape in Cofimvaba where Mcunukeli was arrested in September 2016.”

Mcunukeli was released on a R5 000 bail but, he evaded trial and was traced and rearrested in May 2017. He was in custody until he was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder and nine years for illegal possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

African News Agency (ANA)