Four Bad Cops To Do Time For Killing Passenger Tsatsi

Four bad cops convicted of killing Katlehong resident, Phikolomzi Tsatsi, were on Friday sent to the slammer for 15 years each by the high court in Johannesburg.

The four accused had been collectively charged and convicted of murder and two counts of attempted murder. One of them was also found guilty of corruption.

Former policemen Vusumuzi Mtshali, Simphiwe Lydia Kubheka, Themba Kunene, and Khayelihle Gumede were further sentenced to six years for attempted murder. Mtshali received another four years for corruption.

The sentences were ordered to run concurrently with the murder sentence, resulting in an effective 15 years imprisonment term for each of them.

Events leading to the murder on 9 March 2019 began with an altercation between driver Msindisi Cici and police officers. Cici had passengers in his car that included Tsatsi and Gcin’umuzi Sotondoshe.

The police officers suspected Cici of driving under the influence and attempted to handcuff him.

When Cici refused to be handcuffed and demanded reasons for his arrest, the officers called for backup.

After the backup arrived, Cici was forcibly placed in the police vehicle and was taken to Katlehong North Police Station.

Cici was taken to the back of the charge office, where the police officers took turns to beat him up.

Tsatsi and Sotondoshe – whose only crime had been to ride along in Cici’s car – were also brought into the station and taken to the back.

All three men were severely beaten up by the cops and later loaded into a police van.

The badly beaten trio were driven around Katlehong and Vosloorus for a while before they were taken to hospital..

Tsatsi was already dead.

In aggravation of sentence, Tsatsi’s wife testified about the effects of the crime, citing that three of their children were struggling to cope with the loss of their father, who was also a breadwinner.

Senior state advocate, David Mothibe, argued that the officers failed to uphold the rule of law.

Mothibe said the police officers failed to take reasonable steps to preserve life even after severely assaulting the complainants, they failed to seek immediate help.