Police nab Deputy Minister Makwetla's hijackers

Friday, May 26, 2017

Cape Town – Police Minister Fikile Mbalula says police have made a breakthrough in the hijack and kidnapping case of Deputy Justice and Correctional Services Minister Thabang Makwetla.

Since Monday, four suspects have been arrested by a multi-disciplinary task team comprising the SA Police Service’s Organised Crime Investigation Unit, Detective Services and Crime Intelligence.

The Minister made the announcement in a media briefing on Thursday evening.

On Sunday, 21 May, at approximately 19:30, Deputy Minister Makwetla arrived alone in his private vehicle, a Range Rover, at The Riverside Hospital in Parktown. He was reportedly visiting a friend, ANC stalwart Wally Serote, at the hospital.

As he entered the parking lot through the main gate, one of the security guards approached him to assist with directions. While they were talking, three unknown males approached them and held them up at gunpoint.

The two security guards were forced into the back of the suspect’s vehicle and the Deputy Minister was forced to lie face down in the back of his own vehicle.

They drove off with him to an unknown house and then then drove to an ATM and requested pin codes for his bank cards and withdrew an undisclosed amount of money.

After the withdrawal they travelled to the Madidi area in the North West in the early hours of Monday morning where they dropped him off and released the security guards from the boot. The vehicle sped off and the victims walked to the nearest police station for assistance.

A police task team followed up on reliable information and one of the suspects, Brandon Mashigo, 24, was arrested on Monday at about 18:00, in the Ga-Rankuwa area.

He appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's court today on charges of kidnapping and hi-jacking and was remanded in custody. 

The police worked around the clock and three more suspects were arrested between 02:00 and 06:00 on Thursday in Atteridgeville, Montana and Chantelle, Orchards in Pretoria respectively. A firearm and a watch were recovered.

The trio are in custody and will appear together with Mashigo in the Ga-Rankuwa Magistrate’s Court on Monday 29 May on charges of kidnapping and hijacking.

Mashigo was out on bail in connection with a similar case and he is expected to appear on that charge on Monday.

Minister Mbalula commended police on the swift arrest, and criticised the release of repeat offenders on bail.  

“In the case of Thabang Makwetla, the Deputy Minister, you will realise that the question of recycled criminals in the communities is a reality. Some of those people arrested there are linked to other cases. It is not just people who have just been first time offenders. It is people who have appeared before the courts and were released,” he said.

Task team to probe KwaZulu-Natal political killings

The Minster said, meanwhile, that he will on Sunday unveil a task team to probe recent political killings in KwaZulu-Natal. 

“With regards to the killings in KwaZulu-Natal, we are going to announce a special task team that is going to investigate all the killings that are taking place in KwaZulu-Natal and that task team will be unveiled in Johannesburg this coming Sunday.

“You will know that there has been a series of killings of political figures in KwaZulu-Natal. We are following strong leads with what is happening there on the ground and that a special task team will actually be established.

“With regards to violent crimes and crime taking place at random in the country, in terms of operational field and what we are going to be doing in the next coming weeks and months is to reposition the Tactical Response Teams back into the townships, in areas that are exposed to violent crimes.” – SAnews.gov.za




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