NEWS
20/05/2018 11:40 SAST | Updated 20/05/2018 11:40 SAST

Glebelands Hitmen Get Life Imprisonment For Taxi Boss Killing

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said Ndebele, 52, was shot and killed while he was at the meeting in a community hall in Lamontville in 2015.

Two Glebelands Hostel hitmen were sentenced to life imprisonment in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban on Friday for the killing of Lamontville Taxi Association chairman Vela Simon Ndebele.

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 June 11 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 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.