The judgment handed down deals with the case of a criminal trio – Athenkosi Mdluli, Xolani Ndesi and Jackson Mhobo – who shot and killed Constable Mziwonke Siwisa and stole his official firearm in an orgy of crime during the early hours of December 12 2016. What followed is perplexing.

The criminals were abetted by a number of people in the tiny community of Bloekombos, Kraaifontein, including an alleged gun runner, drug dealers and self-confessed robbers. The alleged drug runner even had the nerve to call the police, in front of the murderers, to confirm the trio's claim that they killed a cop. And after he got it confirmed, the killer gloated to him: “Yes, I am the one who killed the police officer.”

I have reported on police killings in Cape Town for a number of years. But not until this past Friday could I truly appreciate the tricky web of skulduggery that the police have to untangle in their daily fight against the scourge of crime. A judgment handed down by the Cape Town High Court last week in the trial of three tik addicts convicted of killing a police officer gave me a sense of how our communities are brutalised by crime. After reading the 29-page judgment I was overwhelmed by emotion.The judgment takes you deep into the belly of the underworld, revealing the criminals’ disregard for human life. It does so in a way that goes far beyond mere statistics which, though immensely worrying, are impersonal and do not detail the impact the killings have on the individual police officers’ families – and colleagues. Certainly, one death of a police officer at the hands of criminals is one too many. The judgment handed down deals with the case of a criminal trio – Athenkosi Mdluli,...

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