Two alleged fraudsters sought by the Hawks
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) hereby seeks assistant from the public who might have knowledge of the whereabouts of Cannon Mohammed Phiri (35) and Sandile Mashazi (35) who are sought on two unrelated fraud cases. It is alleged that in June 2015, a victim was deceitfully made to pay half of R 524 000 as capital for operating costs of a non-existent multimillion-rand tender to supply water pipes to the Polokwane Municipality. Phiri reportedly disappeared soon after receiving the money, a warrant for his arrest was issued on 9 September.
Meanwhile, on the matter implicating Mashazi, in May 2018, it is alleged that Sandile Mashazi, Johannes Mahlangu (38) and Aaron Mokoena (40) were arrested after they allegedly stole a victim’s bank card at a Leslie ATM in Mpumalanga whilst she was withdrawing money.
The suspects later withdrew R5 000 from the victim’s account. They were traced and arrested by local detectives and subsequently appeared at court where they were released on R3 000.00 bail each, the matter was later withdrawn.
In July 2018, the Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation were enlisted to conduct further investigation and on 23 August 2018, the accused were summoned to appear in court where only Mahlangu and Mokoena attended. A warrant of arrest was issued for Mashazi in June 2019 by the Evander Magistrate’s Court for contempt of court whilst the pair continued to attend their scheduled court dates whilst they are out on warnings.
Anyone with information which can lead to the arrest of Mashazi is urged to contact the investigating Officer Warrant Officer Ignis Lombard on 082 521 3225 or Captain Sipho Nyathikazi on 0824158114 investigator in Phiri’s case.
Hawks seek cash in transit robbers
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) hereby seeks assistance in the identification of a group of armed robbers who robbed an SBV cash delivery truck of an undisclosed amount of money on 29 August in Kriel, Mpumalanga.
It is alleged the SBV security guards were loading cash into an auto teller machine when they were suddenly confronted by an unknown number of heavily armed suspects wearing uniforms similar to theirs. The crew was forced to open the armoured vehicle vault while being threatened with explosives.
One crew member was shot in the process and the trolley man was shot twice, he survived the attack. The suspects fled the scene using a Silver Toyota and an Etios taking along the truck’s keys. Anyone with information which can lead to the arrest of the armed robbers is urged to contact the investigating Officer Captain Thembi-Nkosi Nkambule on 0823039872 or crime stop on 086001011. Information received will be treated with the strictest confidentially.
15 Year jail term meted out to murderer
The Breyten High Court has on 4 September sentenced 31-year-old Sibusiso Brian Ntuli to 15 years imprisonment for murder.
On 17 June 2018, Ntuli stabbed his girlfriend, who was 31 at the time, at Phola Park in Piet Retief. He ran away after the incident and went into hiding. The next day, police followed up on information about his whereabouts and Ntuli was swiftly arrested.
Ntuli made his first appearance on 2 September and pleaded guilty to the murder of his girlfriend. He was remanded in custody and appeared again on the day of the sentencing.
The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, has welcomed the sentencing and applauded the members for their excellent work in making sure that the perpetrator is brought to book. He further appreciated the collaboration between the National Prosecution Authority and the Department of Justice who made it possible that the accused is jailed.
Suspects to reappear for formal bail application
Five men, aged between 23 and 34, were expected to make a second appearance at the Komatipoort Periodical Court on 13 September for a formal bail application having appeared at the same court on 11 September on a charge of possession of stolen motor vehicles.
On Tuesday, 10 September, police received information about a suspicious vehicle roaming around town in Komatipoort. They speedily followed up on the information, leading the police to a guesthouse nearby. Upon arrival the officers found a lot of vehicles which were parked. As the police were about to enquire, the drivers and occupants of the vehicles started fleeing, but the police managed to arrest 3 suspects and confiscated a total of five vehicles, three which were driven by the arrested suspects: a Toyota Land Cruiser bakkie, an Isuzu Double Cab bakkie and a Toyota Rav4. A short probe revealed that three cars were allegedly stolen in Gauteng.
Later on in the day police received information again about possible suspected stolen vehicles, an Isuzu bakkie and a one tonner truck along the N4 and at Lebombo Border Post respectively. They moved swiftly and arrested an additional two suspects.
The Provincial Commissioner has welcomed the arrest of the suspects and applauded the diligence of the police officers.
Provincial commissioner condemns acts of looting of shops
The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, strongly condemns the acts of criminality that took place in Witbank at the Central Business District (CBD) on 11 September where several shops, owned by foreign nationals, were looted. This resulted in the arrest of six suspects, including the alleged mastermind. Several stolen items were also recovered.
The incident which was captured on video and has since gone viral. The video shows several members of the community fleeing from a certain shop with stolen items. The police moved swiftly and diffused the situation before it escalated due to a contingency plan which was put in place as a control measure to suppress a possible outbreak of similar incidents within the province. Police stations have been given a strict mandate to conduct intensive visible patrols in all areas but also prioritise and monitor the areas with a large number of foreign owned shops.
The Crime Intelligence Unit has also been roped in to gather information on possible threats so that members on the ground can be deployed accordingly. There are also engagements taking place at local level between the police and representatives of the foreign owned businesses. Furthermore, Sector Managers have also been activated to stay alert at all times. The police in Mpumalanga urge the community not to participate in such criminal acts but report them to the police instead.
The suspects were expected to appear on 13 September at the Witbank Magistrate’s Court on charges of possession of stolen property, theft as well as assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH). An investigation into their involvement in the looting of foreign owned shops is currently underway.
In light of this incident, General Zuma has warned that such acts of criminality will not be tolerated and further urges people to act responsibly and obey the law at all times.
Members of the community warned not to take law into their own hands
The police in Mpumalanga hereby appeal to members of the community not to take the law into their own hands.
This appeal comes in light of incidents that occurred at Hluvukani, Thulamahashe on Monday and Tuesday evening, 9 and 10 September, respectively, where a group of people burnt down five houses belonging to two different families after accusing them of practicing witchcraft in the area.
On Monday, 9 September, community members set alight three huts belonging to a 69-year-old man who was staying with his four wives and six children. They reportedly assaulted them after accusing the family of practising witchcraft. One of the children, a 25-year-old, was cornered and taken to the nearby field where he was fatally assaulted. Police were summoned to the scene and rescued the family by taking them to a place of safety.
The following day, the community proceeded to another house where they also burnt down two huts after accusing the family of practicing witchcraft but the family managed to flee unharmed.
Two suspects, Brian Mhlongo, 37, and Ernest Ndlovu, 29, were arrested in this regard and they have already appeared at the Mhala Magistrate’s Court on charges of arson and assault to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH). They were remanded in custody and will appear at the same court on Tuesday, 17 September, for formal bail application.
Police are investigating a case of murder as well. Anyone with information that may assist police in their investigation is urged to contact Captain Alfred Mashele at 082 968 4153 or the Crime Stop number 08600 10111.
The police warns members of the community to refrain from participating in acts of vigilantism/mob justice and allow the police to do what they are trained for. They further indicated that people who commit such crimes will be dealt with harshly in accordance with the law.