Government needs communities in crime prevention not vigilantism – MEC Shabalala said
Communities are critical in the fight against crime and SAPS alone won’t prevent and solve crime cases already existing. The community should do that by reporting any suspicious activities or individuals to the police. Communities must report any crime suspects to the police whether the suspects are related to them or not. This will go a long way towards creating a safer society that we all aspire to. While communities’ participation is essential in preventing and solving crime, any acts of vigilantism are condemned in the strongest possible terms. No person should take the law into their own hands. Mob justice has devastating consequences and it is also criminal for anybody to take the law into their own hands. This is according to Ms. Gabisile Shabalala following incidences of mob justice that reportedly occurred in the central business district (CBD) of Mbombela on Monday, 7 October. It is alleged that a group of people who are believed to be street traders went around some streets around the Mbombela CBD apparently searching for people they believed were dealing in drugs. They came across a certain male whom they accused of dealing in drugs. They were about to assault him when the police came and rescued him. He was taken to the police station and the people followed them demanding that the police must hand him over to them. Some businesses around the CBD were closed for business on Monday, 7 October. “Communities must allow rule of law to prevail and not take matters in their own hands because they will be arrested. Lawlessness will not be tolerated and the police will be closely monitoring. Therefore, the communities should raise their concerns without infringing on the rights of others. They must also report any suspicious activities to the police regardless of who is involved,” Shabalala stated. The MEC says while she understands the consequences of criminal activities and proliferation of drugs on communities and how these activities tear families and communities apart, mob justice is not a way to go. Shabalala says those who engage in mob justice could find themselves behind bars. She has encouraged communities to work with the police and rather expose any SAPS members who are corrupt or are not doing their work properly so that appropriate steps are taken against any such individuals. She added that mob justice activities portray the country in a negative light to the outside world and this will adversely affect the economy of the province and the country as a whole.
Two sedans head on collision leaves three people dead
Three people have lost their lives following a head on collision that occurred between two sedans; a Polo VW)and an Opel sedan on the N2 road between Ermelo and Mkhondo. The collision occurred around 18h30 on Tuesday, 8 October. The VW sedan travelled from Ermelo and was heading to Mkondo while the Opel sedan was moving in the opposite direction. Two of the deceased were occupants in the Opel sedan while another person who perished was in the VW sedan. The three died at the scene on impact. The deceased include the driver of one of the vehicles and two passengers. The seriously injured driver was stabilised on the scene before being rushed to Ermelo Hospital for further medical attention. The cause of the collision was investigated by the police. The road was closed and opened as soon as the wreckage had been cleared.
Trio to appear for armed robbery and other charges
Three men will appear at the Carolina Regional Court for the second time since their arrest on 2 May at Badplaas for the alleged robbery of a local foreign-owned shop in the area.
The trio: Sipho Patrick Mathibela (31), Tshepo Presley Mashele (32) and Rendani Marshal Ndou (38) were arrested within minutes after they allegedly stormed into the shop armed with firearms and robbed the occupants of goods and cash to the amount of R15 000. They then fled the scene taking off towards Carolina. A Detective who was also driving in the same direction, to attend court at Carolina, got wind of the matter through the police radio and almost at the same time, the mentioned suspects’ vehicle, a blue Volkswagen Polo, overtook the state vehicle he was driving. His vast police experience kicked in, as he assessed the situation and realised it could be dangerous for him to tackle the suspects by himself. The quick-thinking cop contacted the neighbouring police station ahead in Carolina to intercept the vehicle that he was following. Police in Carolina set up a Vehicle Check Point and as soon as the suspects’ vehicle arrived at the checkpoint, they discovered that the men and women in blue have long been waiting for them. They were pulled over for a search. Cash as well as cigarette boxes and the victim’s driver’s licence were recovered. Two firearms with serial numbers filed off were also found and seized. They were arrested and subsequently appeared on 6 May at the same court, where they were remanded in custody for further investigation. The dedicated Detective continued his investigation and has since established that one of the firearms had been stolen in Vanderbijlpark in Gauteng. Also, that the one suspect, Mashele, was wanted for a murder case in Bushbuckridge, where he was known as Tumelo Presley Theko.
The trio reappeared at the same court on 10 October. The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma appreciated the sterling work done by all members involved in capturing the villains. General Zuma particularly could not withhold his appreciation for the dedicated member (Detective) who was instrumental in ensuring that these suspects did not evade arrest and for his dedication and discipline in ensuring that further investigations were carried out regarding the suspects.
Trio arrested for fraud
Police in Bethal arrested three men, 26 and 30, on Wednesday, 3 October, for misrepresentation or forged documents used to defraud other people’s money.
The arrest came after the police spotted an African male distributing pamphlets about an investment scheme next to Standard Bank in Bethal. The police requested the man to take them to the office they were operating from and found two men; one was operating as the manager and the other as a consultant. When asked about the trading certificate, the consultant produced a copy of the certificate which was proven to be fake. The suspects were arrested for trading as a financial institution without a license. The three suspects will appear at Bethal magistrates court facing fraud charges.
According to the Bethal police spokesperson, this is the second pyramid scheme to have operated in Bethal and both started to operate in August. “The first pyramid scheme was City Financials Trading which operated from August 2018 where the company left with thousands of Rands invested by investors,” said Constable Thomas Mogadime. “This year in August a new investment company called Crypto Ampire started operating and the police managed to recover the current invested money,” added Constable Mogadime. As the festive season is approaching, the police are urging the community not to fall prey to the pyramid schemes hoping to get quick double pay-outs from their investments.