A man who murdered a KwaZulu-Natal police officer while pretending to help him with his broken-down car has been imprisoned.

A second man, who was only convicted of attempting to rob the officer, was sentenced to prison as well.

Sboniso Linda, 36, was sentenced to an effective 25 years in prison by the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Madadeni on Friday, and Nkanyiso Mungwe, 25, was sentenced to five years in prison.

Sergeant Mzamiseni Mbele, 39, of the Msinga police station, was on his way home in April last year when his car broke down on the R74 highway in Weenen, according to Hawks spokesperson Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo.

Mbele informed his wife that the car had broken down. Linda and Mungwe approached him while he was stopped on the road and offered to help.

The next day, a farm worker discovered Mbele’s body.

The Hawks took over the investigation after a murder case was reported at the Weenen police station.

The men were apprehended.

“Their bail [application] was successfully opposed, and they appeared in court several times before being found guilty,” Mhlongo explained.

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Linda received a 20-year prison sentence for murder and a 10-year prison sentence for robbery with aggravating circumstances. Linda will serve half of her robbery sentence concurrently, giving her an effective sentence of 25 years.

Mungwe received a five-year prison sentence for attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances.

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