A suspected robber, who has been on the run from police ever since they raided his Pretoria rental home two weeks ago, got the fright of his life when he was arrested as he unexpectedly sat down next to the officer investigating his case to watch the Kaizer Chiefs-Platinum Stars soccer match at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
The 38-year-old man, who owns a fleet of taxis, managed to escape from members of the Hawks moments before they raided his Garsfontein home last month.
After promising to hand himself over to detectives from Crime Intelligence and Limpopo Organised Crime, the man gave police the slip until Sunday afternoon.
Manasi Samson Malapane, a suspected Kaizer Chiefs fan, was out on bail for a business robbery last year and was awaiting a decision on his appeal against a life sentence for the murder of a Polokwane pharmacist.
Several of his accomplices, including an air force corporal, were arrested in the police raids which he managed to evade. He was wanted in connection with a string of vault robberies in the Free State, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
During the raids, police recovered blueprints for the layouts of safes in banks, garages and ATMs, as well as two R5 semi-automatic rifles, a 9mm pistol and security and policing equipment.
Hawks spokesman McIntosh Polela on Monday confirmed the arrest and said Malapane had appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court.
“The man was transferred to Polokwane, where he will appear in the magistrate’s court on business robbery charges,” he said.
Describing the arrest, Polela said Malapane had been caught as he sat down next to one of the investigating officers in the case, who was watching the Kaizer Chiefs Platinum Stars soccer match at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
“The investigating officer was very surprised when he recognised the suspect, whom he immediately arrested,” he said.
Polela said Malapane was out on bail for a business robbery and had disappeared after being released while his appeal before the Polokwane High Court against his life sentence for the murder of the pharmacist was being decided on.
“When Malapane appears in court, we will fight any bail application which he brings before the court,” he said. - Pretoria News