Two Glebelands Hostel hitmen were sentenced to life imprisonment for the killing of Lamontville taxi association chairman, Vela Simon Ndebele in the KwaZulu Natal High Court in Durban on Friday.
Police spokesperson, Colonel Thembeka Mbhele, said Ndebele, 52, was shot and killed while he was at the meeting in a community hall in Lamontville on 11 June 2015.
She said the gunmen, Mxoleleni Hopeson Bhani, 30, and his accomplice, Mbeko Duma ,31, were immediately intercepted and arrested after the shooting. At the time, police recovered two pistols each and rounds of ammunition in their possession.
Mbhele said the Bhani and Duma were each sentenced to life imprisonment for murder, 15 years imprisonment for possession of two unlicensed firearms and four years imprisonment for possession of illegal ammunition.
Mbhele said Bhani was also serving a life term for killing Sipho Ndovela who was gunned down outside the Umlazi court in 2015.
KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa applauded the investigating team for securing life sentences.
“We will ensure that we put all hitmen linked to Glebelands hostel and taxi-related violence as well as other serious and violent crimes behind bars indefinitely.
“Our investigators are working around the clock to ensure that there is peace and stability at the hostel and this sentence will bring hope to the community members that police are determined to root-out anyone who is responsible for the volatile situation,” he said.
More than 100 people have died as a result of the violence over the allocation of beds and rooms at the hostel.
During the Moerane Commission into political killings in KwaZulu-Natal, the hostel was described as a “reservoir” of hitmen.