Luxolo Kowa, a police officer based at the major operations reactions team (Mort) and Luthando Mqikwa based at the Harare police station appeared alongside Siyabonga Dlanga, and twins Sipho and Siphiwo Fex in the Bellville Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
The prosecution informed the court that the investigation into the matter had not been concluded, and the arrest of other suspects, including a third cop, could not be excluded.
More charges could also be added to the charge sheet. The five are facing charges of motor theft, two counts of fraud, one for the possession of housebreaking equipment and one of attempted house robbery.
“It is the State’s case that the accused allegedly stole two police vehicles, a VW Caddy and marked Opel Corsa. No authorisation was given for the use of the cars. The vehicles were fitted with cloned number plates when (the suspects) were apprehended by Bellville police officers. Because the two accused in the matter are police officers a senior prosecutor made a decision on the charges,” prosecutor Stefan Venter argued.
Based on the investigation not being completed, the State opposed their release on bail. The five will remain in custody until their next appearance.
At the time of the arrest police spokesperson Andre Traut said Bellville police noticed two suspicious vehicles and followed them to De Grendel Avenue in Parow North. However, when the suspects became aware of the police presence they sped away.
They were eventually arrested and it was then established that the vehicles were fitted with cloned number plates and removed from SAPS premises without prior authorisation.
The legal representatives of the five accused on Wednesday denied that their clients stole the vehicles, arguing that authorisation was granted to take the vehicles from SAPS premises.
So far this year seven other officers have been implicated in criminal matters. In May former top cop Kolin Govender appeared alongside underworld figure Nafiz Modack, 37, in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on corruption charges dating back to 2011.
National police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo, responding to allegations of widespread police corruption in the province, said: “This a matter for my colleagues in the Western Cape to respond to.”@TheCapeArgus