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Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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    Crime snippets

    Two multimillion rand drug dens dismantled

    A multimillion rand clandestine laboratory together with a storage facility, was dismantled in Mpumalanga and Soweto respectively. This follows two Hawks project driven operations in the early hours of the morning where members raided simultaneously a clandestine laboratory in Breyten and a Mandrax chemical storage facility in Diepkloof. The Hawks’ South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (SANEB) were assisted by the special Task force, Crime Intelligence and the Forensic Science Laboratory experts at both crime scenes. A 61-year-old elderly woman was arrested in Diepkloof, Soweto, after 62 bags of acidic substance believed to be used for the manufacturing of drugs were found in her possession. She subsequently appeared at the Protea Magistrate’s Court and the case was remanded to 23 August pending further investigation whilst she remained in custody.
    Meanwhile, in Mpumalanga, seven suspects aged between 29 and 69 were arrested for allegedly operating a fully functional clandestine drug laboratory. Drug manufacturing equipment and a haul of Mandrax tablets with an estimated street value of over R210 million were seized. The seven suspects are expected to appear at the Ermelo Magistrate’s court. The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, has welcomed the Narcotics seizures, the arrests and the dismantling of the drug laboratories.

    Saps search and rescue team assists German tourist

    On Wednesday evening, 21 August, the SAPS’ Search and Rescue team came to the aid of a 31-year-old German national, after she allegedly fell off a cliff while on a sightseeing excursion with her partner at Lisbon Water falls in Graskop. Information received indicated that she lost her balance and fell off the cliff onto an overhanging tree, where she was trapped for some time. The search and rescue team were alerted and responded swiftly thus managing to pull her back to safety, before she slid further down. The woman was rushed to hospital where she is currently receiving medical treatment. The Provincial Commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, applauds all the role players for showing their mettle and for the professionalism and dedication they displayed during such a complex and dangerous operation.

    Suspect remanded in custody for dealing in drugs

    A 22-year-old man, Simiso Jika, was remanded in custody by the Lothair Periodical Court on 22 August, for dealing in drugs. Jika’s remand comes after his arrest in the early hours after members of the Lothair SAPS who were conducting a stop and search operation, stopped a white bakkie between Amsterdam and Carolina road at Mpuluzi T-junction. The members introduced themselves to the driver and requested to search the vehicle. Upon searching, the driver, out of guilt told the police that there was dagga inside the vehicle and that he was transporting it to Rustenburg in North West Province. Police proceeded with the search and discovered six maize meal bags and four plastic bags loaded with dagga rolls, weighing about 91.965kg with an estimated street value of R140 000. Jika was swiftly arrested hence his remand today. He will appear again at Ermelo Magistrate’s Court on 29 August for a formal bail application.

    Double murder suspect to be sentenced

    The Mpumalanga Division of the High Court sitting in Middelburg sentenced Themba Josiah Thubane, 41, on a string of charges ranging from house breaking with an intent to commit crimes of murder, pointing of anything which is likely to lead another to believe it is a firearm, kidnapping with the intent to commit crimes of murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder as well as murder. On 28 January 2018, Thubane, alongside with Thokozani Msibi, 32, Knowledge Wezi Mhlanga, 25, as well as Mthobisi Brilliant Mkhize, 23, allegedly broke into a house in Vosman near Emalahleni. The suspects then pointed the occupants with something which was likely to lead another person to believe it was a firearm, and forcefully took 13-year-old Gabisile Shabane as well as Welcome Nkosikhona Ngwenya who was 15-months old. They (suspects) heartlessly threw Nkosikhona in a river stream while still alive and killed him mercilessly. The court heard through a guilty plea which was rendered by Thubane and duly accepted by the court, that the suspects proceeded further killing Gabisile and decapitating her body, took body parts then buried the remainder of her body in a shallow grave at Cullinan in Gauteng. On Monday, 19 August, all the suspects appeared for trial and Thubane pleaded guilty for having taken part in the atrocious activities rendered against the victim. However, Msibi, Mhlanga as well as Mkhize denied the allegations and they were remanded in custody. Their matter was rolled over to 25 May 2020 to 12 June 2020, for trial at the same court. Thubane will hear his fate on 23 August. The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, indicated that this was one of the most difficult cases police had to face. However, the investigators worked tirelessly and cracked it hence the arrests. He mentioned that the community should not take a cue from the suspects who heard a myth that killing a person with albinism can bring you fortunes. General Zuma dispelled that myth and said this is pure greed and gross criminality coupled with violation of the Constitutional Rights of others. The court heard from Thubane that the motive behind the killing of Gabisile was to use her body for muthi purposes, for them to make their business flourish hence the dispelling of this myth by the Provincial Commissioner.

    Police looking for missing elderly person

    The police in Vosman near Witbank are appealing to the public to assist in locating 79-year-old Phillimon Mnyamane Komane, who has been missing since 15 August. Mr Komane was last seen by his family on 15 August, at his home, Ext 9, Kwa-Guqa in Witbank, when they went to work and left their grandfather alone, as they used to do. When they came back from work, they found no one in the house and tried to look around the neighbours and he was not found. The family phoned the relatives, unfortunately he was nowhere to be found. When they left him, he was wearing a brown formal jacket, black Grasshopper shoes and a brown wool scarf. Komane is dark in complexion. The police have in the meantime opened a missing person inquiry for inquiry. Those with information or the whereabouts of Mr Komane can contact Investigating Officer Warrant Officer, Jabulani Fakude at 078 5817 632.

    Heartless suspects arrested and remanded in custody

    The police in Mpumalanga are elated with the arrest of three heartless suspects who are alleged to have killed three men execution-style.
    The arrest of the suspects, Collen Lukhele (26), Tumi Vuma (27) and Piet Muziwempi Nkosi (30) came in the wake of a missing persons’ enquiry which was registered on 5 August.
    According to the information contained in the enquiry, a woman came to the Belfast police station to report that since her husband and his niece left home on 4 August, they have not come back. An investigation was launched by the police which led them to Siyabuswa policing precinct, where they discovered a vehicle belonging to the husband of the complainant burned. The astute investigators became persistent in their course, hence there was a preliminary breakthrough. They then went back to the Belfast policing precinct to source more information regarding the disappearance of the victims. Information surfaced that the victims were shot and killed allegedly by the three suspects who then dumped their bodies alongside the old Belfast-Middelburg road and the bodies of the victims were indeed recovered. Whilst still on this investigation, another piece of information of a man from Witbank who was also reported as missing surfaced. The police at Witbank and Belfast jointly worked together on the investigation regarding the man who was also found dead. Information led the team to Kwaggafontein where the vehicle of the third victim was recovered in possession of a man who told police that he had bought the vehicle. According to the collaboration of the circumstances, leads pointed to the three suspects as being responsible for the death of the third victim. The suspects are also allegedly involved in a string of violent criminal activities that took place in Limpopo province. Lukhele, Vuma as well as Nkosi have appeared before the Belfast Magistrate’s Court pending further investigation and will reappear at the same court on 2 September facing charges of murder, possession of illegal firearms and ammunition. They were expected to appear at the Witbank Magistrate’s Court on 27 August, for bail application as well as in Limpopo Court for various crimes committed there.

    Man to appear for string of housebreaking incidents

    A 28-year-old suspect Thulani “Ngobeni” “Malamule, appeared before Belfast Magistrate’s Court on 23 August, for house break-ins in Dullstroom that took place this year alone. The arrest of the suspect came after police received information about a suspicious man who has rented a room in Kabokweni. The neighbours’ suspicions were triggered by the movements of this man as during the day, he will lock himself and his girlfriend inside the room then at night will be seen going out and coming back late. The police at Kabokweni approached the room of the suspect, where he was found in possession of 2 x stolen TVs and an electric appliance that was reported as stolen in Dullstroom. It was further uncovered that the man is a long time wanted suspect involved in nine house break-ins in Dullstroom only. Malamule was previously convicted in 2016 to three years for similar charges of house break-ins, in the same year before his sentencing, he escaped from Dullstroom police cells but was rearrested shortly after.
    On 21 August, he appeared in the Belfast Magistrate’s Court for being an illegal immigrant in the country.

    Crime snippets