The  convicted man was flummoxed and described the weighty judgement as deadly. The Ntuzuma Regional Court has convicted and sentenced Sanele Armstrong Mhlongo to 33 years imprisonment for trying to kill a police officer house robbery and the illegal possession of a firearm.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said on Friday that 21-year-old Mhlongo was sentenced on Tuesday.

“In August 2015, Mhlongo accosted an off-duty police officer while he was in his vehicle at the Ezimangweni area, Inanda. He shot and injured him with a rifle, then robbed him of his service firearm,” she said.

The victim spent months in hospital recuperating.

A case of attempted murder was opened at the  Inanda police station.

Mbhele said Mhlongo was arrested and charged with attempted murder and illegal possession of a firearm after the officer’s firearm was found in his possession.

He was also linked to a house robbery that had occurred earlier in the area.

“He was taken to court and remained in custody throughout the trial. Mhlongo was sentenced to 15 years for attempted murder, 15 years for house robbery and three years for illegal possession of a firearm.”

KwaZulu-Natal acting commissioner Major general Bheki Langa welcomed the sentence on Friday.

“The accused showed that he does not deserve to be within the community and had to be sent to jail for his horrendous acts. I also applaud the detectives for linking the criminal to other robberies and sending well-prepared dockets to court for successful prosecution,” he said.