Pongola community seething over police officer’s murder sentence

Pongola community seething over police officer’s murder sentence

The community of Ncotshane in Pongola near Ngwavuma, in KwaZulu-Natal, is hopping mad over a 15-year prison sentence handed down to police detective, Mxolisi Donda.

Donda shot Sifiso Sithole, popularly known as Jobe of Pongola in Ncotshane, during a row over parking. Sithole was shot with two bullets and died on the scene.

The magistrate who presided over the case slammed Donda for not having shown remorse since the beginning of the trial.

Sithole’s family and the community are, nonetheless, unhappy about the sentence given to him.

The deceased’s relatives were overcome with grief after the sentence was handed down and were unable to elaborate on their feelings.

Community members on the other hand warned that the leniency shown towards Donda could lead them to take the law into their own hands.

 Gebhu Ntuli from Ncotshane was with Sithole when he was murdered.

Ntuli says his friend was killed for nothing.

He has refuted claims that Donda and Sithole had engaged in a scuffle, which led the police officer to use his gun.

Ntuli says he doesn’t understand how some people convicted of lesser crimes than that of murder are sentenced to life in prison, while Donda gets away with a slap in the wrist. – Report by Maputaland Radio News reporter, Archurah Beula.

Hitchhiker raped in Lephalale

Hitchhiker raped in Lephalale

A young woman was raped in Lephalale, Limpopo, on Wednesday as she was reportedly hitchhiking near the bridge on R33 (VaalWater Road).

The victim was hitch-hiking to Modimolle at around 12h00 when a man unknown to her joined her and pretended to be hitchhiking too.

He then allegedly grabbed her and started to hit her with stones before tying her up and raping her.

The alleged perpetrator immediately fled the scene after the committing the crime.

The victim told police that she suspects the perpetrator to be a Zimbabwean because of his dialect.

As a search for the suspect continues, police are appealing to anyone who may have information on the matter to report to the Lephalale Community Service Centre on: 079 8896247, crime stop on: 0860010111, or to the nearest police station. – Report from Waterberg FM news.

20 nabbed in Naledi safer festive season raid

20 nabbed in Naledi safer festive season raid

Police in Naledi, Soweto, arrested 20 people during a raid of liquor outlets on Tuesday.

The joint operation between SAPS and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) was in preparation for a safer festive season.

Authorities say they want to ensure a safer holiday season for residents.

They visited all liquor outlets in Naledi to check compliance. Some businesses were closed, others fined and their alcohol confiscated.

At least 20 people were arrested for crimes ranging from murder, malicious damage to property, theft, common assault, shoplifting, common robbery and drunk driving.

They will be appearing in court from today. – Report by Jozi FM’s Moshe Maswanganyi

Osizweni residents demand action amid concerns over gangsterism

Osizweni residents demand action amid concerns over gangsterism

Gang violence has reared its ugly head in Osizweni, in KwaZulu-Natal.

The crime led to the deaths of six young people in the area recently.

Residents took to the streets last month, demanding an end to the trend.

They are concerned that more and more children could end up being part of gangs.

Police Minister Bheki Cele led a ministerial imbizo in the area on Tuesday.

National Police Commissioner General Kehla Sitole was also there.

He raised concerns that gangsterism in Osizweni is also affecting schools and about criminal activities in the local police station.

He says the imbizo was aimed at ensuring the protection of young people and the entire community.

Sitole says the SAPS national office is committed to working with the community to eradicate crime in the area.

He says they suspect the gangsterism that has plagued the area is part of organised crime that includes drug trade and human trafficking.

 “SAPS wants to work with all departments, other organisations and the entire community.”

He encouraged the community to work with police, the community-policing forum and the youth to join programmes geared at empowering them.

Residents are worried that if left unattended, the gangsterism could lead to more bloodshed.

They accused the police of working with gangsters. They called for action on the matter instead of talk shops. They also want to be allowed to discipline some of the youngsters who are terrorising the community – a request, which is against South African laws. Taking the law into one’s hands is illegal in the country.

Some of the residents have suggested that the department of social development steps in and investigate why children are joining gangs and determine the kind of help they need.

They complained about having one police station, the lack of trust in the police, a slow response to criminal reports as well as shortage of police officials and vehicles.

Cele suggested that councillors hold meetings with the community monthly to discuss issues affecting their respective wards and update residents on programmes of the local municipality.

He urged parents to take responsibility of their children and train them well so that they become responsible community members.

Cele says school safety also needs to be prioritised.

“Children also must be safe from teachers. Teachers must stop impregnating young girls.”

The Minister says an inspectorate and the secretariat from his office need to probe the allegations levelled against Osizweni Police Station so that they can chart a way forward.

He says while there are rotten apples within the police service, some police officers are doing excellent work – urging the community to not only be hard on police officials but also deal with the corrupt elements within the society.

Probe launched into Bheki Mlangeni rape claims

Probe launched into Bheki Mlangeni rape claims

Investigations are underway over the rape incident that reportedly took place at the  Bheki Mlangeni Hospital, in Soweto, over the weekend.

Gauteng Health says it has asked the police to investigate the claims.

The matter was brought into the spotlight by DA Gauteng Shadow Health MEC, Jack Bloom, on Monday – saying workers at the health facility were worried that the incident could be swept under the carpet.

A male patient is said to have sexually assaulted a 16-year-old fellow healthcare user at the facility – raising concerns over safety.

“I want to reassure members of the public that the issue of safety at our public health facilities is a priority. We continue to work with law enforcement agencies to strengthen preventative and response measures,” says acting Health MEC Jacob Mamabolo, in a statement.

The Department says the rape survivor is receiving medical and psychological support. His family has also been counselled.

Bloom has said the rape is the 11th violent incident at the hospital.

Another patient was killed in May by a fellow patient.

Popcru slates killing of Groblersdal station commander

Popcru slates killing of Groblersdal station commander

Police union, Popcru, in Limpopo is calling on police officers probing the killing of Colonel Lebyane Seroka to do everything they can to bring the perpetrators to book.

The 57-year-old Groblersdal Police Station Commander was gunned down in the early hours of Saturday in front of his house at Mmaganagobuswa village,  while preparing to go to a funeral.

“We are appalled by the latest tenacious, cold-hearted murders of police officers across our country, demonstrating an upward trend which now stands at over 72 police officers since the 2019-2020 periods. The killing of police undermines the authority of our state and our constitutional democracy, and should therefore be regarded as high treason,” says Popcru.

The union is calling on SAPS management to put more effort to ensure that police officers are always armed with well functional equipment, regardless of the type of scene they are attending to.

“Improvement of community and police relations is crucial in curbing this matter, and police leadership needs to urgently start focusing on improving the strategic, management and internal accountability capacity that will support professional policing. We believe this will enable them to better confront dangerous criminals and defend themselves and others using lethal force where necessary.”

The motive for Seroka’s killing is not yet known.

Suspects used his vehicle to fled the scene.

The car was, however, later found abandoned along the Denilton-Maklerekeng road.

Musina residents demand 85% employment of locals

Musina residents demand 85% employment of locals

Musina community members took to the streets on Friday, demanding jobs and business opportunities for local entrepreneurs.

They also called for the water authority to be brought back to Musina.

The residents marched to the area’s Emergency Services offices; the department of Home Affairs; De Beers, local hospital, SAPS offices, Raubex construction group and the Musina Mall, among other organisations.

“We demand 85% local employment (we demand proof of employment from each store), such proof should be accompanied by proof of resident. We demand proof for social responsibility, how much did your company contribute in terms of social responsibility,” their memorandum reads.

The locals also want CVs for new shop vacancies submitted to them for verification purposes before interviews are conducted.

Musina Residents Chairperson Freedom Boikanyo says they also want Musina Mall to explain why most of the shops brought in managers from outside the area, despite promises that the mall was created to create work for locals.

“Why do Musina people hold casual jobs? Why did the Musina Mall hire an outside security company while the local community has many security companies? What has Musina Mall done to date in terms of social responsibility?”

Video of the march supplied by Langa Hot Ice

At the EMS, they submitted their list of demands to the area manager. They want to know, among others, why residents are being referred to Polokwane when calling for help. They also demanded that ambulance drivers be local residents as they know Musina well.

They accuse De Beers of awarding Raubex a tender to build a new tarred road without advertising.

“Why did the company not use this as an opportunity to empower local contractors rather than a well-established company? Why did you start with a road that the community hardly uses/,” they ask in their list of demands.

The residents also demanding the reinforcement of the police force in the area.

At Home Affairs, they asked for investigations into allegations of foreign nationals being awarded South African Identity Documents (ID).

They have given the companies seven days to respond to their demands.

‘Blue lights’ fraud trial set down for November

‘Blue lights’ fraud trial set down for November

Nine senior police officers and three civilians accused of colluding to issue a tender to install 1 550 police motor vehicles with warning lights, known as blue lights, at a grossly inflated price will return to court next month.

Yesterday, Deputy National Police Commissioner Bonang Mgwenya was arrested in connection with the case.
She appeared before the Palm Ridge Magistrate Court and was released on R20 000 bail

The company that won the 2017 deal, represented by its sole director Vimphie Mantatha, is also listed as a respondent in the case, bringing the total number of suspects to 13.  

The state alleges that during the procurement process, the accused disregarded the competitive bidding process; committing SAPS to R191 million in favour of Manthatha’s company in exchange for benefits.

“The tap was turned off after R65 million was paid to the service provider, ‘Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement (Pty) Ltd. Payment of the remaining R22 million was stopped as a direct result of the work of IPID investigators working with SAPS and the Hawks investigators under the leadership of the Investigating Directorate,” says the NPA’s Investigating Directorate.

The 13 accused face charges of corruption, fraud and money laundering.

“IPID remains committed in its constitutional mandate of investigating any alleged police misconduct, once more our seasoned investigators have done a commendable job’’ IPID Executive Director Jennifer Ntlatseng has said. 

National Police Commissioner Kehla Sitole has thrown his weight behind the investigating teams.

“My position regarding criminality by members within the ranks of the SAPS has been made clear by the arrest of a multitude of SAPS members by a task team reporting to me on investigations into vehicle-marking-tender fraud as well as our support to the ID in respect of the blue-light-tender fraud investigation,” says Sitole.

Former acting National Police Commissioner, Khomotso Phahlane and former Gauteng Provincial Police Commissioner Deliwe de Lange are among the accused in the blue lights matter.

Their trial is set down for the 16th  of November to the 10th of December.

Top cop arrested in ‘blue lights’ scandal

Top cop arrested in ‘blue lights’ scandal

A high-ranking police officer has been arrested in a pre-dawn raid in Gauteng.

She is a 13th accused and a ninth police officer to be nabbed in the 2017 multi-million rand police warning equipment tender scandal.

Former National Police Commissioner, Khomotso Phahlane, a brigadier and former Gauteng police commissioner Deliwe de Lange are among the accused.

They face corruption, fraud, theft and money laundering charges.

Their case relates alleged irregularities to the supply of emergency warning equipment for the South African Police Services in 2017.

The tender won by Instrumentation for Traffic Law Enforcement (Pty) Ltd was contracted at R191 million – R65 million was paid to the company.

According to the NPA’s Investigating Directorate –  a R22 million payment was stopped at an advanced stage  amid a probe into the matter.

The accused arrested today is being processed at the Hillbrow Police Station in Johannesburg.

She is expected to appear in the Palm Ridge Magistrates’ Court later in the day.

Limpopo police constable shoots family before killing herself

Limpopo police constable shoots family before killing herself

A 34-year-old female constable stationed at Lephalale SAPS, in Limpopo, has shot and killed her husband.

She also wounded her teenage daughter before turning a gun on herself.

According to the police, the constable had had an argument with her 34-year-old husband before fatally shooting him nine times with a service pistol at Kloppenheim, in Onverwacht.

She then left for Mokopane to an area called Ga-Mokaba and burnt their house. She later called the police, informing them about the shooting and promised to hand herself over. However, she instead drove to Nellmapius Section in Mamelodi East, Pretoria, where she shot her 17-year-old daughter, before turning the gun on herself.

She succumbed to the self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

Her daughter, who is in matric, survived the incident.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) has opened an inquest into the matter. – Report by Ratlou Mabula