File photo: INLSA

Parliament - Parliament's portfolio committee on Police on Tuesday welcomed the life sentence handed to three men for the murder of Constable Mziwonke Siwisa.

Athi Mdluli, Xolani Ndesi and Lubabalo Mhobo were sentenced to life imprisonment in the Cape High Court on Monday for the murder of the Wallacedene policeman.

The accused were also sentenced to 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances and another 15 years for unlawful possession of firearm and ammunition.

Spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said the 35-year-old Siwisa was on his way to work from Wallacedene, Kraaifontein when he was brazenly shot and robbed of his firearm. 

READ: Three held for Cape cop's murder

"SAPS management acknowledge that the sentences will not bring back the life of Constable Siwisa but reckon the communities of Cape Town will be safer with the trio in prison. The detection and prosecution teams were also commended for ensuring the accused were convicted," he said.

Siwisa served in the SAPS for more than 10 years and was the father of two boys aged 15 and 16.

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Police Francois Beukman in a statement welcomed the lengthy sentence handed down.

“The lengthy jail terms must serve as an indication that the killing of police officers will not be tolerated. The justice system must continue to punish criminals who show contempt for the rule of law,” Beukman said.

"The committee reiterates that killing a police officer is a treasonous offence and must be condemned by all South Africans. Furthermore, the committee continues to urge for the strengthening of action against the proliferation of illegal firearms, which are being used as tools of death. 

Beukman added that the committee would "continue to monitor and engage the South African Police Service (SAPS) management on the implementation of strategies to deal with South Africa’s high murder rate".

Additional reporting by ANA