The man who went on a shooting spree during a birthday party at a hostel in Soweto has been sentenced for multiple crimes including the murder of six people.
SOWETO MAN ATTACKS PEOPLE CELEBRATING BIRTHDAY
On 8 June 2020, people living at the Jabulani Hostel were enjoying a birthday celebration. But they were suddenly accosted by three men, who started to attack them during the party. Shots were fired and six people were killed. One of the shooting victims was left disabled.
Detective Sergeant Banele Ndlovu, working alongside the murder and robbery squad and the Johannesburg Tactical Response Team worked tirelessly to gather circumstantial evidence. The surviving victims of the shooting could unfortunately not identify the three men, said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane.
But they eventually found the suspect.
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SUSPECT FOUND THROUGH HIS UNLICENCED FIREARM
Just weeks later, on 16 June 2020, Sipho Mabasa was found by the Lenasia South African Police Service.
He was found in possession of a pistol and ammunition and was arrested, said Mjonondwane.
“He was then linked to the Jabulani Hostel murder case through ballistic evidence.”Phindi Mjonondwane
In a statement to police, Mabasa admitted that he was part of a three-man group that ambushed seven other men who were sitting inside a shack at the hostel.
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According to the Sowetan, Mabasa told police that the killings were part of an ongoing feud between groups of men from Estcourt and Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal.
While he was found guilty of the murder of six people, the Johannesburg High Court handed down his sentence on Friday. His accomplices are however still at large.
Mabasa is sentenced to six life imprisonment terms for the murder of six people. He is handed an additional 25 years for possession of unlicenced firearm and another 15 years for attempted murder. The court also added an extra three years for possession of ammunition.
State Advocate Rachel Kau argued that the use of unlawful firearms to deprive citizens of their rights to life was prevalent. She said the courts need to nip this increasing criminality in the bud by imposing stringent sentences.
“The NPA acknowledges the continuous efforts of dedicated police officers like Detective Sergeant Ndlovu that add value to the work done by committed prosecutors of Advocate Kau’s calibre. Society continues to depend on these fruitful partnerships to feel safe,” said Mjonondwane.
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