Cop Who Shot Amos Dead During Lockdown Gets 25 years

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An overzealous cop who killed a Katlehong resident during the first Covid-19 prevention lockdown has started serving his long sentence for murder.

Former police officer Siphiwe Ndlovu was this week sentenced in the high court in Johannesburg to 25 years imprisonment for the fatal shooting of Sibusiso Amos.

The deadly shooting occurred in March 2020 in Vosloorus when the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department (EMPD) was enforcing Level 5 of the lockdown.

The court found that Amos was shot inside his yard after an argument broke out between him and EMPD officers that had been chasing patrons from a nearby tavern.

The court found that Amos was hit by live ammunition fired by an EMPD officer from close range while he was standing behind a locked burglar gate. The gunfire also wounded three children who were inside the house.

In his testimony before the court, Ndlovu said he picked up a gun after an EMPD officer fell down. The murder accused said the officer was being attacked by members of the community.

Ndlovu said he saw a scuffle inside the yard between Amos and EMPD officers.

The murder accused said in an attempt to stop the scuffle he went closer and fired shots towards Amos to scare him off.

Unfortunately, the bullets hit Amos, the court heard.

However, Senior State Advocate Rolene Barnard argued against the accidental fatal shooting claim, saying Ndlovu was at the time a police officer properly trained in the use of guns.

She asked the court to consider that Amos was shot at in the sanctity of his home while unarmed and without any provocation.

In giving reasons for the departure from the minimum prescribed sentence of 15 years for murder, the Judge, Thifhelimbilu Mudau remarked that Ndlovu’s murder was “a senseless killing, in full view of his family members”.

The judge said that the murder accused was in a position of power and authority – meaning there was an unequal balance of power as the deceased was unarmed on the locked veranda.

The deceased was unable to protect himself, said the Judge.

He said Ndlovu could have assisted Amos after the shooting, but the police officer simply walked away. He didn’t bother to help Amos or secure the crime scene.

Judge Mudau sentenced Ndlovu to 25 years for murder, five years for each of the three counts of attempted murder, five years for unlawful possession of a firearm, and two years for possession of ammunition without a license.

The convicted murderer has since been removed from the South African Police Service.