SANDF man among those arrested in Limpopo crime blitz

26 April 2018 - 13:47 By Ernest Mabuza
These cars were confiscated by police during a crime prevention operation in Limpopo.
These cars were confiscated by police during a crime prevention operation in Limpopo.
Image: Limpopo Police

One of the three men arrested in a robbery near Thohoyandou is a member of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

Limpopo police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said the three men appeared briefly before the Dzanani Magistrate's Court outside Thohoyandou on Thursday. Their case was postponed until May 17 with no bail‚ for further police investigations.

They were identified as Jacob Marakalala‚ 35‚ from Hammanskraal‚ a member of the SANDF attached to the Pretoria head office in the VIP section; Lucas Mudau‚ aged 42‚ from Hammanskraal; and Rendani Edzani‚ aged 42‚ from Matanda outside Thohoyandou.

Ngoepe said the arrests followed an attack on a local hardware store on Wednesday‚ where the three men allegedly robbed employees of their cellphones and fled the scene in a VW Jetta.

He said the police were summoned and reacted swiftly. The getaway vehicle was spotted near Mavhoi along the R523 road. A chase ensued until the three were cornered and arrested at Matanda village.

The police also recovered three other cars‚ two 9mm firearms‚ balaclavas‚ gloves‚ two blue dashboard lights and R2 531 in cash.

Police said a BMW 540i belonged to the SANDF VIP section‚ a Mercedes Benz was hijacked in Pietermaritzburg and the Jetta was hijacked in Primrose in Gauteng. Ngoepe said an additional three vehicles were recovered on Thursday morning. One of the vehicles‚ an Audi sedan‚ was highjacked in the Umbilo area in KwaZulu-Natal.

The origin of the three other vehicles is still being determined‚ Ngoepe said.