Culprits who robbed and murdered two police men in Braamfischerville, Soweto, in 2015 have been sentenced life imprisonment each by the South Gauteng High Court.

According to the police, the slain police officers where driving a police vehicle Warrant Officer Samuel Mchizama (54) and Constable Solly Maluleke (41) were ambushed by eight heavily armed men who had just robbed a liquor store in Braamfischerville.

Mchizama was declared dead at the scene and Maluleke succumbed to the gunshot wounds on arrival at the hospital.

“The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation’s Tactical Operational Management Services and serious organised crime investigation members swiftly responded on intelligence and intercepted one of the getaway vehicles along the N3 near Heidelberg.

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“Two of the suspects were shot and killed during the resultant shoot-out with authorities. Two R5 rifles and ammunition were recovered from the suspects’ vehicle,” the police said.

Further police investigation led to the arrest of Mxolisi Mazibuko (30) in Meadowlands.

A week later, the investigation team arrested Simphiwe Mswane (27), Sthembiso Vincent Khumalo (31), and Mzwakhe Thabethe (34) after a suspicious vehicle was spotted in Fordsburg, Johannesburg.

“A rifle that was linked to the robbery and murder was recovered. Thabethe and Mswane were later fatally wounded during a shoot-out with police after they escaped from custody together with Mazibuko, who was rearrested.”

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The remaining pair were found guilty on two counts of murder and were each sentenced to double-life imprisonment for the murders; 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances; 15 years’ imprisonment for robbery of a firearm; 15 years’ imprisonment for possession of prohibited firearms; 15 years in jail for possession of an automatic rifle, and three years for possession of ammunition.