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UPDATE: More arrested in connection with police man's murder

News in brief - Date: 07 March 2017

Written by: Isabel Venter / Viewed: 5134



Police have managed to arrest a further seven suspects in connection with the murder of a police officer attached to the Giyani Police Station’s crime prevention unit.

The officer has since been identified as Const Thulani Vincent Rali Mhangwani (38).

According to a provincial police spokesperson, Brig Motlafela Mojapelo, five suspects were apprehended near the Solomondale turn-off on the N1-south. Police received information about the suspects that boarded a taxi on its way to Polokwane. “The necessary police units, including members of the Crime Intelligence Team were activated,” said Mojapelo.

Two more suspects were arrested before this with the help of information received from the community.

All the arrested suspects, including the one arrested shortly after the robbery in Makhuvha Village, are aged between 26 and 30. They are expected to appear before the Giyani Magistrate’s Court soon on charges of murder, robbery and possession of illegal firearms.

The Giyani Police have just arrested a suspect after a police officer was killed early this morning.

The 26-year-old suspect is accused of being involved in the shooting of a police officer attached to the Giyani SAPS.

According to a provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, the police officer was shot and killed in a shoot-out with an unknown number of suspected robbers. The police officer, whose name has not been released - pending the notification of his next of kin - was part of a team who responded to a reported robbery at a local shop at Makhuvha Village outside Giyani.

 “The police were notified and reacted swiftly. On arrival, they realized the suspects had already left the scene and immediately made a follow-up,” said Mojapelo.

The team spotted a suspicious-looking vehicle (Toyota Quantum) along the road leading to Phalaborwa, and when they signalled for the driver to pull off the road for questioning, a shoot-out ensued. “Sadly, in the process, one of our members was fatally wounded,” said Mojapelo.

The wounded suspect is currently receiving medical treatement, under heavy police guard, in the Phalaborwa Hospital.

“We believe that one or more of the remaining suspects might have been wounded during the shooting, and a manhunt has been launched to apprehend them,” said Mojapelo. It is suspected that the suspect(s) abandoned their vehicle and fled on foot.

Two firearms and three cellphones were recovered by the police inside the vehicle.

The investigation team made a plea to the public to come forward with information that could assist them. Tip-offs can be given to Col Mabasa by contacting tel. 082 469 0739.


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Three of the five suspects, that allegedly tried to escape to Polokwane by means of a taxi, that were arrested this afternoon. Photo: Limpopo SAPS Communications.


Some of the goods discovered inside the Quantum, suspected to come from the store that was robbered this morning in Giyani. Photo: Limpopo SAPS Communications.

The Toyota Quantum that was recovered by the Giyani Police, following a shoot-out between police members and suspected robbers. Photo: Limpopo SAPS Communications.

One of the firearms recovered. Photo: Limpopo SAPS Communications.

Some of the goods discovered inside the Quantum, suspected to come from the store that was robbered this morning in Giyani. Photo: Limpopo SAPS Communications.

While arresting a further seven suspected robbers this afternoon, police confiscated another firearm as well. Photo: Limpopo SAPS Communications.


Isabel Venter

Isabel joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in 2009 as a reporter. She holds a BA Degree in Communication Sciences from the University of South Africa. Her beat is mainly crime and court reporting.


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