A 29-year-old police constable, Nhlanhla Phillip Mavimbela, stationed at the Tonga Police Station appeared before the Nelspruit Magistrate’s Court yesterday facing charges of defeating the ends of justice and accessory to a robbery.
Mavimbela’s appearance follows an incident of murder and hijacking that took place on 01 November 2014, between the Kamagugu and Karino Road. During that incident, an Engineer from the Kruger National Park, Teboho Ntabe was hijacked of his Ford Ranger bakkie and killed by three men, who dumped his body in the bushes next to the road.
Information at police disposal revealed that the suspects who hijacked the bakkie went to look for a buyer, and Mavimbela was allegedly interested in buying the bakkie. On 03 November 2014, one of the suspects, Thamsanqa Lungelo Shongwe 23, drove to Tonga to deliver the vehicle to Mavimbela accompanied by four men, Bheki Maxwell Mkaya (24), Sakhile Vuyo Moshaga (21), Thabiso Malele (20) and Mxolisi Irvin Khoza (25), who were assisting in selling the bakkie.
When they arrived at the Nkomazi Toll Gate, they discovered that they were not having money to pay and notified Mavimbela. He then made arrangements with another police official working at Kaapmuiden Police Station to assist them with money and he would then refund him at later stage.
After the arrangements, Khoza went to look for the said police official while the official also went to the bakkie to give them the money. When the official arrived at the bakkie, he became suspicious and began to question the four who were remaining in the bakkie regarding its ownership. Meanwhile, Tracker also received a signal of the bakkie that has been reported stolen.
Shongwe then confessed to the police that they have killed the owner and hijacked the vehicle with two of his friends who were not at the scene at that time. When Khoza went back to his accomplices, he noticed that they were in trouble and managed to escape and the four were arrested.
Khoza was arrested few days later together with Esseu Thabiso Mndlovu 21, who was involved in the hijacking and killing of Ntabe.
Mavimbela has been granted R1 000 bail and he will be back in court on Monday, 16 February 2015, accompanied by his six other accomplices facing charges of murder, hijacking and defeating the ends of justice.
Shongwe and Mndlovu were denied bail and kept in custody. Mkaya, Moshaga, Malele and Khoza are out on R1 500 bail each.
Source : South African Police Service