File picture

Port Elizabeth - A man on the 50 most wanted list has been rearrested during Operation O Kae Molao in Gauteng, the police said in a statement from the office of the provincial police commissioner on Thursday. 

Madoda Mqwathi, 34, who escaped from custody, has been on the run after terrorising the community of Ekurhuleni for more than 10 years. He has been linked to more than 10 cases that include housebreaking, house robbery, theft and escaping from lawful custody, the statement said. 

Mqwathi escaped from a police van in February 2010 while he was being transported from Nigel Magistrate’s Court to Modderbee prison after he appeared for a case of housebreaking and theft.

In another major breakthrough, police arrested a suspect after he was found with the firearm belonging to a police officer who was robbed and killed in Katlehong in March. 

Investigations are underway to establish if this suspect can be linked to the murder and robbery of Warrant Officer Makati.  

The Gauteng Premier David Makhura and the Gauteng Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela walked the streets of Kempton Park, Ekurhuleni, searching for drugs, illicit goods and wanted suspects as part of the multidisciplinary Operation O Kae Molao. 

The intervention resulted in the arrests of more than 100 suspects in connection with crimes ranging from dealing in drugs, murder, attempted murder, business robbery, possession of an unlicensed firearm, fraud, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and possession of suspected stolen property. 

Police also closed down unlicensed liquor outlets and second hand dealerships. During the roadblocks two cars were discontinued for being unroadworthy and traffic fines to the value of R26 000 were issued.

A parallel operation was conducted in Tshwane where three suspects on the most wanted list and who were linked to more than 12 cases including hijacking, housebreaking and theft. 

The police said more than 105 other suspects were arrested in Tshwane for crimes ranging from murder, attempted murder, rape, armed robbery, house robbery, intimidation, assault and fraud. 

Police also issued traffic fines to the value of R141 800 at the roadblocks and closed four unlicensed liquor outlets.

The Gauteng Premier urged the police to continue with such operations to minimise crime and called for the community to work together with the police. 

“Crime in Gauteng is a very important area of focus. We want to reduce crime in this province by fifty percent. 

"Communities must come forward and give the police information. I am very happy with the work that the police are doing in our province” said Gauteng Premier. 

The suspects will appear at various magistrate courts soon.

African News Agency (ANA)