South Africa

Ex-policeman-turned-taxi boss gets life for fatal shooting of friend

KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg.

  • Former police officer-turned-taxi owner Thembelani Headman Dlamini was sentenced to life in prison and a further 40 years in prison.
  • Dlamini masterminded a 2019 shooting that killed his partner and relative.
  • The court also convicted Dlamini of blackmail for threatening to kill members of the Bambanani Taxi Association if they did not pay him protection money.

A former policeman-turned-taxi boss has been sentenced to life in prison and an additional 40 years for murder and extortion.

The KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday convicted the leader, Dlamini Thembelani.

Dlamini worked for Crime Intelligence before becoming a taxi owner.

In 2019, he was with a friend when they were shot at. While he survived the attack, his friend lost his life. He then accused his relative and associate, Mmeli Gift Xaba, of organizing the attack and told several people that he would avenge his friend’s death.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), in September 2019, Xaba was at a gas station in Harding when Dlamini shot him and an acquaintance.

They were injured and taken to a nearby hospital. Xaba died at the hospital.

NPA KwaZulu-Natal regional spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson-Kara said Dlamini was also involved in the extortion.

He was convicted of extortion for threatening to kill members of the Bambanani Taxi Association if they did not pay him R50 000 to deter other associations.

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“He also wanted to be allowed to drive taxis without paying the association’s R40 000 membership fee. He also demanded to be paid between R50 and R100 per taxi per day.

“To force them to pay, he enlisted the help of heavily armed men who threatened them into submission. Dlamini was arrested following an intensive investigation,” he added.

In court, prosecutors Lawrence Gcaba and Elvis Gcweka introduced the testimony of several witnesses and members of the taxi association.

The state also submitted a victim impact statement prepared by Xaba’s mother.

In her statement, she said she has been struggling to make ends meet since her son’s death, adding that he was their breadwinner and now she is responsible for her children.

He added that his daughter (Xaba’s sister) died a few weeks after his death and said he was heartbroken and unable to deal with her death.

Dlamini was sentenced to life in prison for murder, five years for attempted murder, 20 years for possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, and 15 years for extortion.

The sentences will run one after the other.

The court also deemed him unfit to own a weapon.

Ramkisson-Kara said the NPA welcomed the ruling.


Ex-policeman-turned-taxi boss gets life for fatal shooting of friend

Source link Ex-policeman-turned-taxi boss gets life for fatal shooting of friend

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