Swift justice awaits criminals

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pretoria - Criminals who think they can terrorise fans and visitors during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, need not make any mistake that their actions will be met with swift justice,

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa issued this warning to criminals while welcoming the speed in which the men who recently robbed foreign journalists in Magaliesburg last week, were arrested and sentenced, saying other criminals can expect the same treatment.

Three journalists, from Portugal and Spain, were robbed of their belongings while sleeping at the Nutbush Home Lodge.

Less than a day after the incident, the men responsible for the crime were arrested and a few days later, they were convicted and sentenced.

Two of the robbers, 20-year-old Bright Madzidzi and 28-year-old George Magubane, were each sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for their part in the crime.

The third person, 20-year-old Ndubuisi Odungwa, was sentenced to four years behind bars for being in possession of stolen property.

Mthethwa said he was pleased with the investigation and judicial processes.

"It took police no more than 24 hours to arrest these lunatic scoundrels. It further took the justice department no more than 48 hours to sentence them. Now this is what we have been echoing - that we will act with swiftness on any criminality," he added.

The manner in which the investigation was conducted and finalised was proof that police's warning to criminals were not empty threats, the minister said.

"No criminal, whether South African or foreign will terrorise law-abiding citizens or visitors during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and beyond, especially because this is a festival of the beautiful game," Mthethwa added.

National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele also applauded police and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on the speedy arrests, convictions and sentencing.

"I am very pleased that the system put in place between the SAPS and the NPA to deal with offences relating to the World Cup quickly, has proved to be effective.

"Not only has justice been done in this case, but it has been seen to be done swiftly", Cele said.