The 50-year-old John London Molefe was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday in the Springs Regional Court for murdering a Dunnottar police officer in Nigel, Gauteng.
The police officer was shot three years ago when Molefe and two other suspects broke into the police station one night to steal firearms. Art. Aaron Vusi Mahlangu, who was on duty that night with another police officer, was shot and later died in hospital.
Col. Falcons spokeswoman Katlego Mogale says Molefe and his two cousins, Mduduzi Jali, 49, and Prince Mnisi-Thobe Zondozi, 38, attacked Dunnottar police station on the evening of June 8, 2015, for stealing firearms from the safe . They wanted to steal the firearms for an armed robbery they had planned in Mpumalanga. In addition, one of Mahlangu’s colleagues was apparently also head in one cap with the robbers.
Mogale says the three suspects started shooting and Mahlangu was hit in the process. The other police officer managed to get away unharmed from the incident. Mahlangu continued to shoot back until the suspects fled.
Mahlangu was hit eight times. He was in the hospital for more than two months, where he later succumbed to his injuries.
Mogale said the Falcons arrested Mpho Matsoso, a 30-year-old police officer from the same police station, just after the incident. He was apparently in the head with one of the suspects for stealing the firearms. Matsoso turned everyone’s eyes in a hurry by rushing him to the police station and opening a case.
The three suspects, Molefe, Jali, and Zondozi, were arrested a month after the incident in Kwa-Thema in Ekurhuleni.
The suspects admitted to the police that before the incident, Matsoso assured them that only one female police officer would be on duty at the police station on the evening of the incident. Matsoso apparently would have just patrolled outside.
“When the suspects rushed into the police station, they were reportedly constable. Mahlangu and another police officer there. Their plans were then put on hold, ”says Mogale.