Three suspects, including a police officer, aged between 36 and 46 appeared at the Piet Retief Magistrate’s Court on 11 June for dealing in dagga, possession of illegal cigarettes, Contravention of the Disaster Management Act as well as Immigration Act.
The 36-year-old Constable Ntokozo Zungu, as well as the two foreign nationals, Ntombikayise Nkambule aged 46 and 48-year-old Nokuthula Ginindza, were arrested on Tuesday, 09 June 2020.
According to information received, SANDF members were conducting routine patrols along the Mahamba Port of Entry Borderline when they spotted two females, Nkambule and Ginindza throwing bags over the fence into the country.
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The officers devised a plan to approach them but surprisingly moments later, noticed a marked police bakkie coming from Phongola KZN direction, which stopped at the exact spot where the bags had been placed.
The females started loading the bags as well as cigarette cartons into the police bakkie while Zungu stayed in the vehicle.
The SANDF members grew suspicious and approached Zungu to make enquiries but he told them that he was on duty, chasing a vehicle but decided to stop and assist the two females.
As the SANDF members were discussing the matter, Ginindza as well as Nkambule continued loading the goods into the bakkie where after they all (Zungu, Ginindza and Nkambule) jumped in the bakkie and left.
The matter was reported to the local police station at Mahamba Port of Entry, who swiftly responded and found the bakkie parked along the road.
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Upon searching it, they found bags containing dagga as well as cartons of illegal cigarettes.
A further probe revealed that Zungu who was wearing uniform, is attached to a police station in Kwazulu Natal, had crossed over to Mpumalanga illegally by breaking the lockdown regulations, Ginindza and Nkambule, who are from the Kingdom of Eswatini were undocumented.
The police did not hesitate to arrest all three suspects on the spot, hence their appearance in court on 11 June 2020.
During the trio’s appearance at Piet Retief Magistrate’s Court on 11 June 2020, Constable Ntokozo Zungu was granted R5000 bail whilst Ginindza as well as Nkambule were remanded in custody and will appear again on 24 June 2020.
Meanwhile internal disciplinary steps will be instituted against the member in his province.
The Provincial Commissioner has welcomed the arrest and has further sent a strong warning to law enforcement officers as well as members of the public who collude in criminal activities.
“We will not allow criminality, particularly within our ranks more so during this challenging period in our country where they are called upon to protect and preserve lives. Such acts have the potential of denting the image of other upstanding law enforcers who are working hard to root out crime and corruption. We will arrest anyone who commits crime and engage in corrupt activities without fear or favour, even if it means arresting our own,” said General Zuma.