News making headlines in South Africa

The cash-in-transit vehicle which was targeted in Ritavi.

Minor raped near railway line, accused sentenced

KWAZULU-NATAL: The Pietermaritzburg Regional Court convicted and sentenced 23-year-old Mzwandile Gwala to 16 years behind bars for raping a 10-year-old child in Peacevalley, recently. He received his sentencing on January 28, 2018.

According to police reports, on December 24, 2017, the victim was walking to a nearby shop when she was approached by the accused. She was dragged to a nearby railway line, where she was raped. The victim cried for help and eventually reported the matter to her mother at home.

Provincial police spokeswoman, Col Thembeka Mbhele said that a case of rape was opened at the Taylors Halt SAPS and it was then transferred to the Plesseisslaer Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit for further investigation. The accused was soon arrested and charged accordingly. He appeared in court and bail was successfully opposed.

In another incident of rape, Sthabiso Shezi (27) was sentenced to a total of 16 years for rape and theft by the Pietermaritzburg Regional Court. He raped a 30-year-old woman at the Bulwer area at knifepoint in 2014. Her cellphone was also taken away by the accused.

A case of rape and theft was opened at Bulwer SAPS. KwaZulu-Natal’s acting provincial commissioner, Maj Gen Bheki Langa welcomed the sentence handed down to both accused. “Our FCS units will make sure that they thoroughly investigate such cases and arrest the perpetrators,” he said.

Most wanted suspects nabbed and linked to serious cases

LIMPOPO: The fight against house robberies, hijackings and business robberies (trio crimes) was given a major boost when police successfully arrested a notorious suspect, who was sought for about 10 serious cases.

The 39-year-old man was terrorising communities in various policing precincts in the Tzaneen and Giyani clusters, according to police. He started his reign of terror some time ago until 2018, when he was arrested after committing yet another hijacking in Bolobedu.

This latest incident involves the hijacking of an Audi motor vehicle in which the suspect used his tricks in an attempt to evade justice. The vehicle was later found abandoned at his girlfriend’s house at Bolobedu.

Even though he could not initially be arrested for this specific crime, he was nevertheless later apprehended for the same offense due to the meticulous investigations conducted by the police. The suspect somehow managed to acquire bail on three occasions and in the process, committed some of these crimes while out on bail.

His luck ended when the police made use of internal systems to link him to all these cases. The suspect was arrested and linked to all these cases following sterling investigation conducted by the Tzaneen VCIU (Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit Team).

This notorious suspect will be indicted with a range of charges which he is alleged to have committed during a long period. He appeared in court and investigations are ongoing.

Police launch manhunt for cash-in-transit robbers

RITAVI: Police in Ritavi have launched a massive manhunt for a group of armed suspects, who attacked and robbed a cash-in-transit vehicle, earlier this week. Police reports indicated that the group of armed men targeted the vehicle along Khujwana and Lephaphane Road.

The vehicle was en-route to the social grants pay point at the Lephephane village when they suspects began firing shots. The vehicle was blown up with explosives as well before the suspects fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money.

No injuries or fatalities were reported. Anyone with information regarding the case or the wanted suspects can contact Cpt Richard Boshomane on 079-894-5501 or Crime Stop on 08600-10111.


Elaine Naidoo
Digital editor

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