The Hawks have welcomed the 22-year imprisonment sentence of Hlakaniphani Miya who shot and killed police Constable Sithembiso Yende in 2014, in Ladysmith.
The Pietermaritzburg High Court sentenced 33-year-old Miya to 22 years imprisonment for murder, ten years for possession of an unlicensed firearm and five years for the kidnapping of Constable Yende’s neighbours.
Miya’s sentences will run concurrently.
On 8 March 2014, Constable Yende, who was from Ezakheni, reacted to cries for help from his neighbours after they were attacked by three gun-wielding robbers. While proceeding, he was confronted by the three robbers who were shooting indiscriminately.
In self-defence he shot one of the suspects later identified as Miya. He was overwhelmed by the suspects who fled with his service pistol. Constable Yende later succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
The Hawks took over the investigations and a manhunt ensued. Feeling the heat, the three suspects handed themselves over to the investigating team.
Nkosiyakhe Mabaso, 33, Thando Mabaso, 31, and Miya were charged and appeared in court where they were granted bail. While out on bail, the two Mabaso’s were fatally shot during taxi rival violence in the Ezakheni area.
The Acting National Head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata, has welcomed the sentence and thanked the Hawks members and all other stakeholders who worked behind the scenes to secure the conviction.
“We understand very clearly that the sentencing will never bring back Constable Yende or take away the families’ hurt, but our justice system has made sure that Miya pays for his sins on this earth,” Lieutenant General Matakata said.