Tuesday, 28 June 2016

New Year's Day cop killer gets 25 years in the cage

A MAN who stabbed a police officer to death as he tried to evade arrest on New Year's Day, was yesterday sentenced to 25 years in jail. 

Proud Dlamini (26), of Mzola 6 Village in Jotsholo, tendered a limited plea of guilty to a lesser charge of culpable homicide but Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Nicholas Mathonsi, on circuit in Hwange, convicted him of murder with constructive intent.

Dlamini killed Constable Bright Tafadzwa Virira by stabbing him in the chest, abdomen and head using an Okapi knife. Constable Virira, who was 24 at the time of the incident, was stationed at Jotsholo Police Station in Lupane. Justice Mathonsi, in his judgment, ruled that Dlamini's testimony was fraught with inconsistencies.

"We don't buy the story that accused was trying to defend himself. In fact, it's clear from the evidence in court that he was resisting arrest and in the process remarkably derived pleasure in using a lethal weapon to kill a young and gallant police officer who was in the course of performing his duties," said the judge.
New Year's Day cop killer gets 25 years in the cage
Justice Mathonsi said the post mortem report indicated that Dlamini used excessive force which resulted in the knife inflicting deep wounds. The judge lamented an increase in the number of violent crimes perpetrated by youths. "It looks like we're now living in a violent society. It's a society of people, particularly youths, who spend hours consuming alcohol.

''These people have no respect for the law, human life and for themselves and they've become a law unto themselves," he said. In passing sentence, Justice Mathonsi said Dlamini deserved to be sent to jail for a lengthy period of time.

"You killed a police officer who was executing his duties and clearly we've youths who have turned into a bunch of violent individuals. "We therefore need to send you to jail for a long time so that society can be able to breathe in your absence. You're accordingly sentenced to 25 years in jail," ruled the judge.

Prosecuting, Miss Namatirai Ngwasha said on January 1 this year shortly after 7PM, Cst Virira was with Mr Victor Mlotshwa, a member of the Neighbourhood Watch Committee at Mzola Business Centre in Jotsholo where they were conducting festive season patrols.

She said the two tried to stop a beer hall brawl involving Dlamini, Privilege Ndlovu and others. Miss Ngwasha said Cst Virira arrested one of Dlamini's friends. "When Cst Virira tried to arrest Dlamini, he resisted and a scuffle ensued during which the accused pulled out a flick knife from his pocket and stabbed the police officer twice in the chest and abdomen," she said.

Miss Ngwasha said Cst Virira collapsed and died on the spot and Dlamini fled from the scene. He was later apprehended by his uncle who is a member of the Neighbourhood Watch Committee.

According to post mortem results, the cause of death was due to stab wounds, haemorrhage shock and right haemopneumothorax. Dlamini, through his lawyer, Mr Givemore Muvhiringi, claimed that he attacked Cst Virira in self defence.

"We had a misunderstanding with the deceased which led to a fight. We were restrained and just as I was walking home, Cst Virira, who was armed with a baton, followed me and tripped me before attacking me. I then stabbed him as I was trying to defend myself from a barrage of attacks," he said.
Source: Chronicle
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