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Woman remanded in custody after Mpumalanga cop found murdered with his own service pistol

A 29 year old has been arrested following the brutal murder of Mpumalanga police officer Mandlenkosi Happy Thwala, aged 45. Photo: SAPS

A 29 year old has been arrested following the brutal murder of Mpumalanga police officer Mandlenkosi Happy Thwala, aged 45. Photo: SAPS

Published Aug 6, 2022

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Pretoria – The Kanyamazane Magistrate’s Court has remanded in custody a 29-year-old woman who was arrested for the murder of 45-year-old Sgt Mandlenkosi Happy Thwala at Pienaar in Mpumalanga.

“Zanele Mkhonto appeared in the Kanyamazane Magistrate’s Court on Friday, August 05, 2022 after being arrested in connection with the murder of Sgt Mandlenkosi Thwala at Pienaar,” according to Mpumalanga police spokesperson Col Donald Mdhluli.

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“The case was remanded to August 10, 2022 for legal representation. Meanwhile, the suspect remains in custody.”

A 29-year-old woman was arrested following the brutal murder of Mpumalanga police officer, Sgt Mandlenkosi Happy Thwala, aged 45. Photo: SAPS

Earlier this week, Brig Selvy Mohlala said Thwala was found dead by a neighbour at Gedlembane, in Pienaar.

“According to information, police in Pienaar were called to attend to a scene where a neighbour alleges that she received a call from the mother of the member, requesting the neighbour to check on her son as she suspected that her son might have been murdered,” Mohlala said.

“Upon the police’s arrival, they found him motionless, lying in his bed with visible gunshot wounds on his body. He was shot five times, allegedly with his service pistol, two times in the head and three times on his upper body.”

Emergency medical services were summoned to the scene and the police officer was certified dead.

“There were also two cartridges found on the floor and his vehicle, a green Volkswagen Polo Classic with registration DSV 112 MP, as well as his service firearm and cellphone were missing but later discovered abandoned in the bushes. A murder case with an additional charge of robbery was opened for investigation,” Mohlala said.

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“As police were still in shock at what had happened, a passer-by approached them while they were conducting a roadblock at Newscom in Pienaar. The person indicated to the members that he saw a firearm next to the road, a few metres from the roadblock.”

It was later discovered that the firearm on the side of the road belonged to the murdered police officer.

Mohlala said the 29-year-old suspect was arrested within 24 hours after the gruesome murder, “hiding at her boyfriend’s house”.

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