A 40-year-old police constable, Lucky Ngoma together with his four accomplices, Sonto Sikhosana (37) a sales person from Nissan garage, Nhlanhla Sibiya (24), Terrence Mawisa (27) and Thulani Maseko (28), appeared before the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday, 16 April 2015, facing a charge of theft of motor vehicle.
Their appearance came after police acted on information received regarding a faked armed robbery that was reported by Skhosana on Monday, the 10th of April 2015, with the police in Middelburg. In that robbery case, Skhosana alleged that she was hijacked by people while she went out for test driving with a customer, meaning Maseko who was interested in buying a new Nissan Qashqai.
Information at police disposal revealed that Skhosana had a buyer for the Qashqai, so she arranged with Sibiya to look for someone who will pretend to buy the vehicle and they will book it for test driving then fake a robbery. Sibiya organised Mawisa who went with Maseko to the garage with a fake driver’s licence. Maseko and Sonto then went out for test driving and via the nearby filling station to pour petrol. At that filling station, there was another vehicle with two occupants including Mawisa waiting for them.
Both vehicles then drove out of town on the road to Groblersdal where they took a dust road to Keerom Farm outside Middelburg and stopped there. Mawisa and Maseko then tied Skhosana with cable ties, removed her jewellery and threw her phone away. They then left the scene with the stolen vehicle leaving Skhosana behind near the road where a motorist came to her rescue. The motorist untied her and took Skhosana to her working place where they reported the incident to the police and a case of armed robbery was opened. The vehicle was kept at a certain house at Hlalamnandi near Middelburg.
Information further revealed that Constable Ngoma was contacted to assist them in registering the vehicle as it was still new. It is alleged that Ngoma drove the vehicle to Nkangala where he made arrangements for the vehicle’s identification numbers to be tempered with and be registered.
Police managed to trace and busted all five suspects on Wednesday, 15 April 2015, between 03:00 and 08:00, also recovered the vehicle valued at R361 000. Ngoma was granted R2 000 bail and the rest R1 000 each. They will appear again before the same court on 21 May 2015, pending further investigation.
In a separate incident at Ogies, two police constables, Mabitje Mampa (32) and Juliet Mahungela (28) were also arrested and appeared before the Ogies Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 14 April 2015, on allegations of theft and defeating the ends of justice.
It is alleged that the duo attended a complaint where the complainant reported that his water pump was stolen. He then requested the police to accompany him to a certain man whom he heard was selling a water pump, to confirm whether it was not the one belonging to him. Upon arrival, it is alleged that the complainant stated that the pump was not his but police seized it together with a welding machine. They told the man who was found with the items to bring proof of purchase then they will hand the items back to him.
The said man went to the police station on Monday, the 10th of April 2015, with the proof of purchase to claim back his belongings but it was discovered that the items were not recorded in the exhibit register. A case of theft was opened by the complainant for investigation.
On further investigation, it was discovered that the police officials took the items and they were arrested on Monday, 13 April 2015.
They were released on R1 000 bail each and the case was postponed to the 18th May 2015, pending further investigation.
An internal probe is underway for all the arrested police officials. -End-
Brigadier Selvy Mohlala
071 353 6955
Source : South African Police Service