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Police make U-turn after initially claiming arrested Zimbabweans were driving SAPS car

The SAPS in Limpopo have refuted assertions that the bakkie seized in Mpumalanga belonged to a police station in Thohoyandou. Picture: SAPS

The SAPS in Limpopo have refuted assertions that the bakkie seized in Mpumalanga belonged to a police station in Thohoyandou. Picture: SAPS

Published Jul 26, 2022

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Pretoria – The police in Limpopo has strongly refuted assertions made by police in Mpumalanga over the arrest of two Zimbabwean men who were arrested while allegedly driving a vehicle belonging to the SAPS.

“The provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe and police management in the province are concerned about reports on various media platforms, especially social media, indicating that a motor vehicle that was confiscated by the police in Mpumalanga, in which two suspects were reportedly apprehended along the N12 under Delmas policing area on Wednesday 20 July 2022, was stolen from Thohoyandou SAPS,” said Limpopo SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.

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The SAPS in Limpopo have strongly refuted assertions that the bakkie seized in Mpumalanga belonged to a police station in Thohoyandou. Picture: SAPS

“Our records indicate that the said motor vehicle, an unmarked white Nissan single cab that was confiscated by the police in Delmas, Mpumalanga was once a police vehicle that was attached to Thohoyandou SAPS. It was sold during a public auction on 2 June 2022 and was bought by a Zimbabwean national who handed in documents that showed he was in the country legally.”

Mojapelo said the new owner of the bakkie did the change of ownership the next day, on 3 June.

“The registration number on the vehicle is the correct one and nowhere in the eNatis system does the vehicle indicate that it was stolen. The history of the vehicle does however indicate previous ownership and how it was disposed of,” Mojapelo said.

“Various people continue to peddle this wrong information on social media that the vehicle was stolen from Thohoyandou SAPS despite the fact that the official media statement issued by the police in Mpumalanga does not indicate the vehicle was stolen.”

Mojapelo said before the vehicle was sent to a public auction, all police markings were removed.

Last week, the SAPS in Mpumalanga said the vehicle had been seized after it was found transporting suspected stolen diesel. The police in Mpumalanga stated that the vehicle belonged to SAPS Thohoyandou, and had been fitted with “incorrect” number plates.

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“To make matters worse, the members (officers) uncovered that the registration number plates displayed in the bakkie were incorrect hence the car was seized. In addition to that investigation thus far revealed that in fact the car belongs to the SAPS in Thohoyandou, Limpopo,” said Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.

“This matter is still being investigated to find out as to how the vehicle landed in the hands of the two Zimbabwean nationals. More charges against the two are eminent and police cannot rule out the possibility of more arrests as the probe continues.”

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