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Monday, September 21, 2020
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    Crime Snippets

    Police concerned about the increase in shoplifting

    Bethal: There were a number of shoplifting incidents reported recently at Bethal police station by either the owner, security guards, managers and or staff members in different retail stores.
    Constable Mogadime explained that shoplifting is unnoticed theft of goods from an open retail establishment. Shoplifting typically involves a person concealing a store item on the person, in pockets or under clothes – or in a bag, baby stroller, etc. and leaving the store without paying for it.
    With clothing, shoplifters may put on items from the store and leave the store wearing the clothes. This act is complete when the person goes past the till point/cashiers and security without having paid for the item.
    Constable Mogadime, the Communications and Social Crime Prevention Officer at Bethal SAPS explained that shoplifting is indeed a problem and a main concern in Bethal since it is an area with a couple of shops with others still growing.
    “Once the crime has been committed, we receive complaints from shop owners where police are called in to fetch these perpetrators,” added Constable Mogadime.
    The legal consequences of shoplifting can include jail or prison time, punitive fines, community service hours and more. Offenders are often prohibited from entering the place of business from which they stole goods.
    Shoplifting is not a game and it has a negative impact on the business and you could have a criminal record. “It doesn’t matter if it is a small item that cost less than a Rand or an expensive item. There will be serious implications for those caught shoplifting.” said Constable Mogadime.
    To prove that shoplifting is a serious offence, recently a 47-year-old Mr Majonjo Sibiya appeared at Bethal Magistrates Court facing charges of shoplifting and Detective Constable Xolani secured the conviction. Mr Sibiya was convicted for eighteen months imprisonment and in term of section 103(i) of the firearms control act 60/2000, he was also declared unfit to possess a firearm. His conviction came after he entered Pep Store at Cosmos Centre and stole 2 pairs of men’s socks and left the store without paying for them. He was caught by one of the employees.
    The consequences of shoplifting in some cases set up new businesses to fail unfortunately. Businesses lose a lot of money as a result of shoplifting and are forced to put security measures in place to prevent their businesses from suffering loss.
    In addition to lost profits, the consequences of shoplifting also force businesses to raise prices and the consumer to pay for items at a higher price. Constable Mogadime also warns the public not to take chances with the idea, because they will be caught. It is a serious offence and will certainly impact their future negatively.

    There is no waiting period to report a missing person!

    Bethal: Did you know that there is no waiting period to report a missing person? The sooner you realise or suspect that a family member or someone you know might be missing, report the person immediately to the police.
    When a person goes missing, it is of the utmost importance for the SAPS to fulfil our mandate to serve and protect the citizens of South Africa. It is essential to take steps and start the investigation into a missing person’s case immediately.
    Report a missing person at your nearest police station immediately. Don’t be misled by others that you need to wait 24 hours before reporting.
    You can assist the SAPS when reporting a missing person by following these steps:

    • Produce a recent photograph of the missing person, if possible.
    • Give a complete description of the missing person’s last whereabouts, clothes that they were wearing and any other information that can assist the investigating officer.
    • Complete and sign a SAPS 55(A) form. This form safeguards the SAPS from hoax reports and indemnifies the SAPS to distribute the photograph and information of the missing person.
    • Obtain the investigating officer’s contact details and send any other information that might become available.
    • If a missing person is found or returns voluntarily, inform the investigating officer immediately. A SAPS 92 form must be completed to inform the Bureau of Missing Persons that the missing person’s report can be removed from the circulation system.
      Let us be vigilant and work collectively to keep families together and safe.
      To report any form of crime to the police, contact Bethal SAPS on 017 647 9929/30

    Police activates a lookout for 12 stolen vehicles

    Parktown – Police are on the lookout and are appealing for public assistance with the location of suspects and/or vehicles stolen from a vehicle storage facility in Maggs Street in Watloo, east of Pretoria between 06h00 and 07h00 on the morning of 26 January 2020.
    Nine Ford Ranger bakkies, two Ford Fiestas and one Ford Figo were stolen from the facility after an alleged impostor dressed in the uniform of the security company on site, found his way onto the premises; held the on-duty security detail at gun-point; opened the main gate, allowing in about 17 more suspects onto the premises.
    It is alleged the suspects were all dressed in the same uniform of the on-site security. The suspects made off with the 12 vehicles.
    Security guards that were on duty were found on the premises with their hands tied. A case of business robbery has been opened.
    Gauteng Provincial Commissioner of Police, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela has called for the immediate mobilisation of an integrated team of investigators led by the SAPS Crime Intelligence and the Vehicle Crime Investigation units, towards the apprehension of the suspects.
    Anyone who may have information that could lead to the apprehension of the suspects, is urged to contact police by calling the crime stop number 08600 10111 or by giving a tip-off on the MySAPS app that can be downloaded onto any smartphone. Information can be given anonymously.

    Security service providers to be paid in due course

    The Department of Community Safety, Security and Liaison (DCSSL) has contracts with various service providers in order to render security services at various government sites across the province.
    These sites include clinics and health facilities. The service providers are paid on a monthly basis upon the submission of invoices to the department. DCSSL has however experienced budgetary constraints since last month and this affected timeous payments to these companies within 30 days in line with government prescripts.
    This has led to some companies not being able to pay their employees although DCSSL does not have contact with the employees of the affected companies, we expect them to timeously pay their employees’ salaries. Moreover, these companies were evaluated based on their capabilities which include financial and human capital.
    Paying of employees’ salaries by the companies is part of service level agreement (SLA) that the department has with these companies.
    The employees at some of the sites downed tools as a result of non-payment of their salaries by the companies.
    With regards to budgetary constraints, DCSSL has since engaged the Provincial Treasury and guidance has been provided by the Office of the Premier. Meetings were also held with the service providers in order to urgently resolve the matter.
    A provision has been made for financial assistance to be made to DCSSL. Great progress has been recorded in this regard with an intention of normalising the situation.
    Therefore, according to the plan at hand, the affected service providers will be paid by no later than 1 February 2020.
    The internal processes in consultation with the Provincial Treasury, for budget transfers to be effected, are already underway.
    DCSSL is aware about the urgency of the matter and an appeal is therefore made to all affected stakeholders including labour movements and employees, to bear with government during these difficult times.
    The department apologises for the inconvenience that may have caused.
    We are a caring government that seeks to empower the citizens of the province through among others prompt payments of service providers including security companies.

    Provincial Commissioner welcomes hefty sentences handed down to heartless rapist

    The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma, has welcomed the sentencing passed by the High Court Division of Mpumalanga sitting in Delmas, where 35-year-old Sipho Samson “Oneman” Masombuka was sentenced to 8 life sentences plus 553 years imprisonment on 23 January, after being found guilty on 70 counts of rape, robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping and pointing of firearm that he committed between 2008 and 2018 in the areas of Kwaggafontein, Siyabuswa, Dennilton and the surrounding areas.
    When handing down the sentence, Judge Neliswa Mali, said that the accused was heartless as he went on insulting his victims in terms of their bodies and personality. Judge Mali further emphasised that women are not safe whilst people like Masombuka are out in the streets. She concluded that the community will be free after Masombuka is removed from the society. The Court heard how Masombuka was terrorising vulnerable women, between 16 and 40, at that time in their homes. The vicious Masombuka, who was armed, would attack his victims on the streets, rob them of their belongings including cell phones and often kidnapped them. This man who acted like a predator, would at times break into the homes of his victims whilst they were asleep. Masombuka would threaten his victims with a firearm and take their belongings before raping them. Scores of cases were opened by the victims and in most of the cases one would discover that suspects were unknown. The police investigation team worked very hard to close the net of this maniac. He was finally arrested by police, linked through DNA. Detectives knitted their case to be watertight so that there is no loophole left for Masombuka. The evidence before court was so overwhelming and led to Masombuka being found guilty of the charges levelled against him.
    In welcoming the sentence, the Provincial Commissioner also admired the investigation team under the Family Violence Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) Unit in Kwamhlanga, the prosecuting authority and the Judiciary for their excellent work in ensuring that justice triumphed. “Words cannot really express my appreciation to the outstanding work done by the investigation team which led to the subsequent conviction and sentencing of the accused. This is an indication that SAPS is determined and committed to decisively deal with those rotten elements that commit gender-based violence. I believe that the sentence will serve as a deterrence to the would-be rapists,” said General Zuma.

    Suspects appear in court after being arrested with explosives

    Three suspects appeared in the Mdutjana Magistrate’s Court on 21 January following their arrest by police in Siyabuswa near Kwa-Mhlanga on Monday, 20 January. The trio’s court appearance came as a result of information that police received from community members with regard to suspects who were armed with explosives and were conniving to commit a crime in Siyabuswa near KwaMhlanga. It is reported that police intercepted the suspects’ plans and conducted an operation to avert the suspects from executing their plot. Further information revealed that part of the suspects’ plan was to bomb an ATM at a nearby filling station. Five suspects in a grey Nissan 1400 Bakkie, were pre-occupied to notice that the police were patiently waiting. Around 11h50am, the suspects who were in the bakkie drove closer to the place where they were supposed to carry out their mission. Upon noticing police, the four suspects that were at the back of the Nissan Bakkie jumped and ran to evade arrest, leaving the driver alone as it was not easy for him to escape. The driver was requested by police to stop the car and a search was conducted wherein two electronic detonators; two 400 grams Pentolite Boosters and one 12-volt Ecco battery was found in the car. 24-year-old Solly Ndala, driver of the Nissan Bakkie, was immediately arrested for possession of explosives. Police also launched a manhunt for the other suspects. Police effort yielded a positive result whereby 30-year-old Issac Mhlongo and another 38-year-old man, were apprehended. The three were charged with illegal possession of explosives and conspiracy to commit crime unknown to the state. The investigation further revealed the involvement of 32-year-old July Bongani Nkabinde. In the suspects’ plan and information of his whereabouts was followed and he was arrested within few moments following the arrest of the trio. Nkabinde was found in possession of a firearm and ammunition when arrested by police. Nkabinde was charged with possession of illegal firearm and ammunition.

    Ndala, Mhlongo and Nkabinde appeared in court on 21 January 2020 and were all given bail. They will appear again on 27 February, whilst the 38-year-old man on 22 January at Mdutjana Magistrate’s Court facing a charge of illegal possession of explosives. Police cannot rule out the possibilities of linking them with other crimes. The Provincial Commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma has commended the sterling work done by police in arresting the suspects. “I would like to thank members for their continuous relentless effort to prevent, combat and investigate crime always. Our commitment to root out crime in the province did not end during the festive season but we continue to uproot any criminality in the society so that people are and feel safe at all times, “said General Zuma.

    Police arrest a man and a woman for kidnapping an 11-year-old girl

    A 42-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman are expected to appear at the Emalahleni Magistrate’s Court on 22 January after having been arrested on Monday, 20 January, for allegedly kidnapping an 11-year-old girl on 30 November 2019 at Vosman area near Witbank. According to reports, the teenage girl was made to believe that her mother sent people to come and fetch her as the mother was not at home at the time. The other members of the family never suspected that anything could have been wrong whilst the girl was so excited and trusted the man who acted politely was very convincing. The girl was kidnapped and the family did not hear of her whereabouts until the next day, 1 December 2019, when the suspects called the mother to demand a ransom amounting to R250 000, in an exchange for the child. The suspects indicated that the child was in Nelspruit. The mother was also informed that she must not alert police about the kidnapping if she ever wanted to see her child again. The 27-year-old mother, who was desperately longing to see her daughter, informed the other family members about the call that she received from the suspects and police were immediately contacted. Police did not waste time with their investigation as the child was in a vulnerable situation. Out of desperation, the family drove to Nelspruit to check if they could verify the information provided by the suspects. Within a few hours after opening a case of kidnapping, the suspects became aware that they could be in trouble and they released the child and informed the mother that the child was in Vosman not in Nelspruit as they claimed earlier. The family drove back to Vosman and found the little girl unharmed. Police were informed about the developments.The preliminary probe has since revealed that there is a close member of the family that is alleged to have been part of the plan to kidnap the little girl. Police cannot rule out the possibility of adding more charges to the suspects. The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma has condemned the kidnapping of the child and thanked police for putting the pair behind bars. “The family is a social structure where children are nurtured and protected. This is an environment where children should feel safe. It is very disturbing when people take advantage of vulnerable children and use them to demand cash. We welcome their arrest and hope that justice will be served, “said General Zuma.

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    Crime Snippets