'Krejcir hitman' falls for sting
In a major blow to the defence of Czech fugitive and alleged criminal kingpin Radovan Krejcir, the police arrested one of his alleged hit men in a sting operation yesterday. The arrest - at a Shell Ultra City filling station on the M2 highway in the south of Johannesburg - was made hours before gunmen said to be linked to Krejcir were allegedly due to begin a series of killings.The targets were all witnesses in the trial in which Krejcir and three of his reputed associates - Nkanyiso Mafunda, Siboniso Miya and Simphiwe Memela - are accused of the murder of Lebanese Sam Issa, 51.Issa was killed while driving through Bedfordview, on the East Rand, in 2013. His killers were armed with AK47 rifles.When Krejcir, Mafunda, Miya and Memela were charged they were already in custody in connection with an alleged conspiracy to murder police officer Colonel Nkosana Ximba and private forensics investigator Paul O'Sullivan.The 40-year-old suspected hit man was arrested by police from the Crime Intelligence Unit, National Special Investigation's Krecjir investigation team and a tactical response team a few days after they received information that the murder of witnesses was being planned.Police spokesman Brigadier Vish Naidoo said the suspect had been charged with conspiracy to commit murder."The suspect is alleged to have been part of an elaborate plot to kill several witnesses who are to testify in the Sam Issa murder trial," Naidoo said.Police arrested the man as he sat in his car at the filling station.According to a source, he was under the impression that he was to be met by someone who would give him items to be used in the killings, which were to have begun today.Krejcir, Miya, Mafunda and Memela are due to appear in the Germiston Regional Court on Tuesday. Naidoo said they would join the man arrested yesterday in being charged with conspiracy to murder the witnesses."This is a massive breakthrough in this particular case because if this conspiracy had not been uncovered in time, not only would we have struggled to secure a successful prosecution [in the Krejcir case] but, more important, many innocent lives would have been lost," Naidoo said.