Rustenburg - A minibus taxi driver was sentenced by the Western Cape High Court to 25 years imprisonment for the murder of a traffic officer, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said.
NPA spokesperson in the Western Cape division, Eric Ntabazalila, said Luvo Mlandu was sentenced to an effective 25 years imprisonment after he confessed to the murder of traffic officer Deon Dennis Sampson, attempted murder of traffic officers Sandiso Mbongela and Arthur Releli and the contravention of the National Road Traffic Act.
He said Mlandu entered into a plea and sentencing agreement with the State. He was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment for murder, five years imprisonment for each count of attempted murder and three years imprisonment for each count of the contravention of the National Road Traffic Act.
"This brought his sentence to 41 years imprisonment in total, but the court ordered that all the sentences run concurrently with the sentence imposed for the murder charge. He was further declared unfit to possess a firearm," Ntabazalila said.
Ntabazalila said Mlandu, 40, confessed that he drank alcohol and drove his taxi on Spine Road, Khayelitsha, on the evening of August 7 in 2020. He was stopped at a roadblock manned by traffic officers and police.
The deceased (Deon Dennis Sampson) moved to the front of the vehicle to assist his colleagues in checking the licence disc.
"Realising that he would be arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, the accused decided to flee the scene.
"Various traffic officers shouted and tried to stop the taxi, instead he accelerated at high speed. He hit the deceased, who attempted to hold onto the front of the taxi as it sped away, lost his grip, was dragged by the taxi for several metres, got dislodged from under the taxi and the accused drover over him. He died on the scene," he said.
The traffic officers and police fired several shots at his tyres which forced his taxi to stop and he was arrested.
Senior State Advocate Esna Erasmus, told the court that Mlandu was a danger to other road users.
She indicated that Sampson’s death has had a devastating impact on fellow traffic officers, especially those who witnessed the incident and his family who were still mourning his death.
She further confirmed that Mlandu had committed a similar offence in 2015, and was convicted of culpable homicide and driving under influence of alcohol. He received a suspended sentence for that crime.