Austin Reynold, a South African Police Constable who robbed and killed a Nigerian, Emeka Okoli, has been sentenced to 32 years in prison by a Durban High Court.
The court sentenced the policeman three days after he was found guilty of robbing and killing the late Okoli during an illegal raid in the community where the deceased resided.
The court sentenced Reynold to seven years for counts of robbery and 25 years for the count of murder.
Reacting to the judgment by Justice Shyam Gyanda, the Nigerian community in South Africa welcomed the sentencing of the South African police officer who shot at close range and killed Okoli.
He was reported to have killed the Nigerian of Anambra extraction on Jan. 18, 2018.
“The Nigerian Union South Africa (NUSA) is vindicated with sentencing of Constable Austin Reynold.
“We were at the scene of the murder on Jan. 19, 2018 to ensure that our people didn’t take the law in their own hands,’’ NUSA President, Adetola Olubajo said in a statement.
“We later ensured that a murder case was registered at Durban Police Station and the case was charged to court immediately due to the cooperation of the investigating officer at Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPDI).
“I led a delegation of the National Executive of Nigerian Union South Africa from Pretoria to Durban Magistrates’ Court on Jan. 21, 2018 where the bail application was heard.
“And since then we have been following the case, attending the trial with the head of our Legal Desk.’’
He said that the colleague of Reynold, Brinley Pallo, who was with him when he shot and killed Okoli later turned state witness.