The Belfast Magistrate's Court in Mpumalanga has remanded 50-year-old Themba Dan Senama in custody after he was intercepted and arrested by members of the Middelburg flying squad while driving a hijacked Volkswagen Polo vehicle.
Senama appeared in court on Friday, and his case was postponed to January 22, for further investigations, according to Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Colonel Donald Mdhluli.
“According to a (police) report, the men and women in blue successfully intercepted a reportedly hijacked white VW Polo on the N4 Road in Belfast on Wednesday, hours after it was reported hijacked in Mamelodi in the Gauteng province,” he said.
The vehicle was reported hijacked on Tuesday last week.
“Members were doing their routine patrol duties when they spotted a vehicle, which was allegedly cloned and being driven by the said man. The vehicle was then stopped,” said Mdhluli.
“Upon further investigation, it transpired that the vehicle was the one that was reportedly hijacked, hence the male suspect was arrested and charged for possession of suspected hijacked vehicle,” he said.
“Currently the investigation is ongoing and police suspect that the man could be working in collaboration with others. During the time of his arrest, the suspect was heading towards Nelspruit (Mbombela) direction, possibly to drop off the vehicle somewhere.”
Police are not ruling out the possibility of adding more charges to Senama’s charge sheet. Mdhluli said more people could also be arrested during the ongoing investigations.
Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has welcomed Senama’s arrest, as well as the recovery of the hijacked vehicle.
Manamela reiterated that police in Mpumalanga, in collaboration with members of the public and other law enforcement agencies, “will continue to work tirelessly in curbing theft and hijacking of motor vehicles”.
Last year, police at Standerton, in Mpumalanga recovered a white Toyota Etios, valued at around R85,000, which was stolen in Centurion, Pretoria, five years ago.
“The police crime intelligence unit in Standerton gathered information and employed the services of Standerton K9 to conduct an operation,” Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said at the time.
The investigation led police to a house in Meyerville, in Standerton, where the suspicious vehicle was spotted.
Mohlala said when police officers arrived at the house, a “possible suspect” fled.