Four people have been arrested in connection with the kidnapping and murder of senior South African Police Services' Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks) officer, Lieutenant Colonel Sikhetho Mawila.
Mawila was attached to the Serious Organised Crime Investigation Unit in Durban and was allegedly accosted by the suspects while travelling back to the city for work.
IOL reported that Mawila informed his family that he was going to fill the car with petrol before travelling back to Durban.
His family raised the alarm after they failed to get hold of him some hours later.
A passer-by stumbled on Mawila’s body and alerted the police. His family were able to positively identify him.
A case of murder, kidnapping, and hijacking was opened at the Hlanganani police station.
According Hawks spokesperson, Colonel Philani Nkwalase, the suspects, aged between 23 and 44, were arrested on Wednesday morning, in a joint operation by the East Rand Serious Organised Crime Investigation team of the Hawks with Gauteng Traffic’s Special Law Enforcement Unit (SLEU), and Ekurhuleni Metro Police's Saturation Task Team (STT).
“The joint operation made by a multidisciplinary team resulted in the arrest and seizure of a cellphone, laptop belonging to the deceased, a service pistol with live ammunition, car jack, a wallet, a pair of running shoes, a suitcase, keys, a cooler box as well as a knife,” Nkwalase said.
“The burnt vehicle that was hijacked was also found.”
The suspects are expected to make their first appearance in Tsakane Magistrate’s Court, on Friday, on preliminary charges of murder, kidnapping and hijacking.
National Head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya applauded the collaborative work of the law enforcement agencies.
“We appreciate the efforts and the speed within which the joint team made the arrest ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to justice to account for their conduct,” he said.