SABC News - Sentencing postponed in case involving police who executed suspects:Wednesday 13 September 2017

Sentencing postponed in case involving police who executed suspects

Wednesday 13 September 2017 17:45

Lucas Mothibedi

The court heard how the police officers went on the run after this matter was reported.

The court heard how the police officers went on the run after this matter was reported. (SABC)

The North Gauteng High Court sitting in Potchefstroom, has been postponed to Thursday, the sentencing of a constable and two police informants, who arrested and drove three murder suspects to an open field and executed them.

The trio has been convicted on three counts of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and defeating the ends of justice.  

Constable Jim Maphale and two other police informants arrested Thabiso Mthembu, Andile Ndlovu and Henry Nhlapo in April 2015 for alleged murder.

Instead of driving the suspects to the police station, the trio with other police officials assaulted the suspects until one of them died.

Police watch Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) investigations reveal that the officers then drove around with the suspects, with one dead still at the back of the van, with them.

IPID says the officers tried to cover up the initial murder by driving to an open field and execute the other remaining suspects who had witnessed the death of their co-suspect in the hands of the these law enforcers.

Bodies of Innocent Thabiso Mthembu, Andile Ndlovu and Henry Nhlapo were found weeks later in an open field in April 2015.

One of the suspects that were shot by these officers managed to survive and later reported the matter to authorities.

The court heard how the police officers went on the run after this matter was reported.

All of them were stationed at Springs in Gauteng province.

A manhunt that lasted for three weeks ensued. They were arrested and later found guilty by the courts in June 2017.

Sentencing was reserved for this week.

Councils representing the accused and the state prosecutor spent the Wednesday morning submitting heads of arguments in mitigation of the sentence.

One police officer present during the murders has been acquitted in all charges.

Constable Jim Maphale, police informants Mpho Matlala, and Lwazi Dlangamanda will know their fate this Thursday morning.

The constable has since been dismissed, with his station commander, after an South African Police Reserve (SAPS) disciplinary hearing.

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