28 year-old Port Elizabeth cop killer sentenced to life plus 13 years

AUGUST 19, 2016

A 28 year-old man, Mangaliso Grootboom, convicted of killing a Port Elizabeth police officer, Constable Simthembile Thandani (31),  in January 2015 was on Wednesday handed a life sentence by the Port Elizabeth High Court.

Grootboom was further slapped with an eight-year jail term for attempted robbery; four years for unlawful possession of firearm and one year for unlawful possession of ammunition.

According to local police, "On 7 January 2015, Thandani and a colleague stopped a vehicle in KwaZakhele, Port Elizabeth, whilst on duty. While they were busy talking to the driver of the vehicle, two men approached them and a tussle ensued between the suspects and the officers.

"During the struggle, Thandani was shot twice in the upper body by Grootboom with his unlicensed revolver."

Thandani returned fire and shot Grootboom also in the upper body, however, he managed to escape with his accomplice, who is still at large.

"Unfortunately, Thandani succumbed to his wounds at the scene."

The Eastern Cape Organised Crime unit of the Hawks later received information on the same evening that a man who fit Grootboom’s description was admitted at the Provincial Hospital in Uitenhage and was arrested and remained in custody until the finalisation of the case.

The Eastern Cape Provincial Head for the Directorate For Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), Major-General Nyameko Nogwanya, congratulated the team for securing the sentence.

“It is the worst nightmare when one of our is killed. We have vowed never to rest to arrest and successfully convict those who kill our police officers. You kill a police officer, you temper with the peace and stability of this country. This sentencing is highly appreciated and is set to send a clear message wherever you are, the claws of the Hawks will catch you,” he concluded.