Police looking for farm attackers
Police have launched a manhunt for several suspects after an elderly couple, aged between 82 and 78, was allegedly attacked on a nearby farm outside Nelspruit during the early hours of Sunday morning, 3 November.
According to police, it is alleged that about four unknown suspects managed to gain entry of the house through a window, while the elderly couple and their son were asleep.
It was reported that once the suspects were inside, they accosted the elderly couple and money was demanded from the victims. The suspects allegedly assaulted the couple with sharp objects, believed to be pangas. It was further reported that during the commotion, the elderly couple’s middle-aged son, who was reportedly armed, woke up and intervened and there was an exchange of fire.
Subsequent to the shooting, the son sustained injuries to his lower body but reportedly managed to shoot at one of the suspects. The suspects, who left their firearm on the scene, allegedly took one firearm belonging to one of the victims, before they retreated. After the shooting, the suspects tried dragging the injured suspect out, but he reportedly died and was left nearby by the other suspects who fled.
The suspect’s body was found in the nearby bushes, a few meters away from the house.
The elderly couple and their son were rushed to hospital, while police have launched a manhunt to track down the remaining attackers. The Provincial Commissioner in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma has sent out a strong message that police will not rest until all of the suspects are brought to book.
Anyone with information that can assist the police in apprehending the remaining suspects can contact Detective Captain Boy Ellias Muahari on 082 303 9658. Alternatively, the public can anonymously call Crime Stop on 08600 10 111.
Police in Mpumalanga condemns the burning of six trucks, suspects sought
The police in Mpumalanga condemns in the strongest possible terms the burning of 6 trucks, one in Hendrina, four at Arnot and the sixth truck was reportedly set alight in Kriel. According to information, the three incidents took place on Monday night, 4 November. At Hendrina, the complainant was reportedly asleep inside a parked truck when he was awoken by a noise of a breaking window of the truck.
It is alleged that the complainant saw an unknown male suspect who ordered him to get out of the truck. He reportedly saw 7 other unknown male suspects who are suspected to be accomplices to the one that was next to him.
The suspect that initially ordered him to get out of the truck, allegedly took out a box of matches and set alight the blankets that were inside the truck.
The suspects reportedly fled the scene in a White Toyota Corolla after noticing that police were coming. Police gave a chase to the suspects and they have not been arrested yet.
Four other trucks were also reportedly burnt in Arnot. This was after allegations that one of the truck drivers was ordered to take out his belongings by an unknown male suspect who made accusations that the truck driver is amongst people that continue to work while others are on strike.
Thereafter the said driver saw other trucks, that were in the same queue he was in, burning. The reports suggested that the trucks were queuing to deliver coal at Arnot Power Station.
The estimated damage caused by the burning of these trucks can amount to approximately R5 million and no arrests have been made as yet.
At this stage, police are investigating cases of malicious damage to property and request that anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of the suspects involved in burning of the trucks.
Police in Mpumalanga welcome sentences meted against two robbers
The police in Mpumalanga welcome sentences which were meted against two robbers. The accused Smangaliso Mathebula (25) and Edwin Zitha’s (27) reign of terror ended on 4 November when the Witbank Magistrates Court did not hesitate to sentence them to fifteen years as well as eight years respectively. The court heard that on 10 September 2015, at approximately 10:45, a 28-year-old female victim was approached by two male perpetrators while waiting at a hiking spot on the Witbank/Ogies road.
One of the perpetrators pointed a knife at her and demanded cash and a cell phone from her. The victim surrendered both her cell phone and cash to the two men and screamed for help. The two men fled the scene into the bushes nearby. Meanwhile, police vehicles from Witbank station arrived at the scene and immediately began searching for the perpetrators in the bushes. The dedicated members managed to arrest the two robbers and subsequently recovered the robbed items.
Both men were found guilty of robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Smangiso Mathebula was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment whereas Edwin Zitha was sentenced to eight years. Both suspects were declared in terms of Section 103(1) Act 60/2000, unfit to possess firearms.
The police in Mpumalanga led by Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, sends a stern warning to other criminals that are still at large, that the net is soon closing in on them. General Zuma has also applauded the dedicated Criminal Justice System for ensuring that the robbers are convicted. General Zuma has further reiterated SAPS’ commitment to making sure that the members of the community are and feel safe. He encouraged the public to continue reporting any criminal activity that they witness so that police can effectively act on it.
Former Department of Labour employee sentenced for fraud
The Witbank Regional Court on Monday, 4 November, convicted Thokozani Percy Skosana (42) for 15 counts of fraud.
Skosana is a former employee of the Department of Labour who was attached to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) section. During 2012, he fraudulently started a company named Simajale Transport and General Dealer and registered ghost employees and he claimed UIF benefits on their behalf resulting in the department losing R63033.56.
The Hawks’ Serious Commercial Crime Investigation ensued after the matter was reported, consequently, Skosana was arrested and statements from people who were falsely registered to receive UIF benefits were obtained and they turned state witnesses.
Following a series of court appearances, Skosana was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment, wholly suspended for 5 years and the Court additionally ordered him to pay the spent money back to the department. Furthermore, the convict was declared unfit to own a firearm in terms of the firearms control Act.
The Provincial Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Mpumalanga, Major General Zodwa Mokoena applauded the Investigating and the Prosecuting teams for the conviction.
An ATM card cloner to appear before court tomorrow
Police’s relentless efforts to reduce crime in the province, especially during this festive season, has yielded positive results as a 45-year-old suspect was arrested on Saturday, 2 November, in connection with a case of theft in the Graskop area.
It is alleged that the man would target tourists whereby he would tamper with ATM machines so that when someone would attempt to insert a bank card, the card will get stuck and he would offer ‘courtesy assistance’ of some kind. The man would end up taking large amounts of the victims’ cash without their consent.
The police cannot rule out possibilities of linking this man to other various unresolved cases that similar modus operandi was used.
The police call on anyone that might have fallen victim to this scheme, especially in the Graskop and the surrounding areas, to approach the nearest police station or contact Detective Colonel James Mziako or Detective Sergeant Muzi Ngomane at 013 762 4419 or 082 565 7658 (c). Alternatively, members of the community can call 10111 or call and remain anonymous at 08600 10111.
The man is believed to have been operating in-and-around the area of Graskop for quite some time, targeting tourists and mostly those who are residing outside of the country, thinking that he cannot be caught as the majority of his victims would be reluctant to travel to-and-from overseas to attend court cases. However, his reign of terror has been halted by police and the man has already appeared at the Graskop Magistrate Court on Monday, 4 November. He was remanded in custody and had his 2nd appearance at the same Magistrate Court on Thursday, 7 November, for bail information.
The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, has applauded the SAPS members for finally apprehending this suspect who have already been charged. “We are looking forward to arresting more suspects that are terrorising our community especially during this time of the year where our people are targeted at ATMs as well as when they leave the banks with cash. Mpumalanga is a province that is visited by many tourists that are coming from other countries. The province is also visited by tourists who invest a lot into the province’s economy and as police we cannot allow criminals to reign as well as terrorise our people and tourists under our watch. I want to send a stern warning to other criminals that we are coming for you and we will not rest until you are all behind bars”.
Suspect to appear for dealing in dagga
A 39-year-old man appeared at the Nkomazi Magistrate’s Court on 7 November for dealing in dagga.
The man was arrested on 6 November after police received information about a vehicle that was loading dagga at a farm in Magudu alongside the South Africa and the Kingdom of Eswatini borderline. Police immediately responded to the information given and launched an operation. The vehicle that matched the description was spotted, stopped and searched. Upon searching, twelve bags loaded with dagga were found in the vehicle. The suspect was arrested and the vehicle confiscated.
A few minutes after the arrest, police received more information relating to dagga and immediately rushed to the scene. On arrival, about eight suspects fled the scene, leaving behind five bags fully loaded with dagga.
Meanwhile, three suspects aged between 39 and 51 were arrested on 5 November, at Masoyi, for possession of an unlicensed firearms and ammunition. Their arrest came after Pienaar Tactical Response Team received information about a vehicle with three occupants planning to enter the Kruger National Park via Numbi Gate. Police officials rushed to Masoyi area for visibility and while patrolling, they saw a vehicle matching the description given and stopped it. The vehicle was searched and a hunting rifle, an axe, silencer, seven live ammunitions, together with two butcher knives and two black bags were found inside the vehicle. All suspects were arrested and charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunitions.
Help police find 13-year-old girl
Police at Kwamhlanga are asking the community to assist in locating 13-year-old Patricia Sihlangu who allegedly went missing last month.
According to information at police disposal, on 19 October Patricia attended a wedding with her family around Phola Park. Later, her mother began looking for her and one of her siblings mentioned that she left and indicated that she will be back soon. Since that day, she never returned home and her whereabouts are unknown. When they tried to call her cell phone, it was found to be switched off.
Police are making an appeal to the community to assist with information that can lead to the whereabouts of Patricia. Warrant Officer Lukas Mampho can be contacted on 079 572 2512/ 082 923 1974 or call the SAPS Crime Stop number 08600 10111.