A zama zama, Bhekisisa Samora Dlamini, was sentenced to life plus 103 years imprisonment, by the South Gauteng High Court for murdering an Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) officer, Johannes Jacobus Van Der Linde, in June 2021.
Linde and five of his colleagues were reportedly searching for zama zamas in the bushes around Primrose in Germiston, Gauteng when they were shot at by the accused and his illegal miners’ friends.
HEFTY SENTENCE FOR ZAMA ZAMA WHO KILLED AN OFFICER
During the search, the police officers also returned fire, but unfortunately, Van Der Linde was fatally shot during the crossfire.
Dlamini was apprehended at the scene, whilst his accomplices managed to escape. The accused has been convicted of murder, five counts of attempted murder, possession of a prohibited firearm as well as unlawful possession of ammunition on 2 September 2022.
Senior State Advocate, Thamsanqa Mpekana, presented the Victim Impact Statement, detailing the impact the death of the officer had on his family.
Mpekana said Van Der Linde’s wife stated that her family suffered psychological, physical, and mental trauma, because of his untimely death. She went further to mention that her husband was the breadwinner, and that his death left, not only herself and her children but the deceased’s mother and siblings, financially crippled, as the deceased was their source of provision too.
In persuading the court to determine a suitable sentence, Adv. Mpekana asked the court to consider that the EMPD was one officer less, because of the senseless killing, that crimes perpetrated using unlawful and prohibited firearms were prevalent, as the perpetrators are convinced that they can never be traced and can continue their unlawful ventures undetected.
“The country has been calling for law enforcement authorities’ robustness, in dealing with zama zamas who have placed the country under attack, by committing crimes at dangerously alarming proportions. I, therefore, implore the court, to send an unambiguous message that such criminality will be harshly dealt with by our courts”, he concluded.
According to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Regional spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwane, Judge Moosa, agreed that the crimes the accused was convicted of, were senseless and merciless.
Mjonondwane said that Moosa further stated that the level of the scourge of crimes committed using unlawful firearms, was alarming and that the courts must send a crisp message, by imposing robust sentences against perpetrators that show total disregard for the rule of law.
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