Hawks nab five in Soweto hostels for murder of JMPD officer
Johannesburg - A Hawks led police operation has arrested five suspects in connection with the murder of a Johannesburg Metro Police Department officer who was hijacked killed at the end of March after returning from a soccer match.
Officers from the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime, Crime Intelligence, Gauteng Highway Patrol and Traffic Police and the Soweto West Trio Task Team arrested the suspects at hostels in Diepkloof and Jabulani, Soweto, on Thursday night.
The murdered JMPD officer, Neo Sepuru, 26, had been driving his private car after returning from a departmental soccer match in Malboro when he was hijacked outside his home in Dube Village, Soweto.
Hawks spokesperson Captain Ndivhuwo Mulamu said the suspects had hijacked another vehicle earlier that evening, a Honda Ballade, but dumped it as it had apparent mechanical failures.
“They allegedly proceeded to Sepuru and hijacked him, shot and undressed him of his uniform. Sepuru sustained fatal wounds on his upper body.
“The suspects allegedly burned Sepuru’s vehicle at the hostel on the same night he was hijacked,” said Mulamu.
He said the investigation team worked around the clock to trace the suspects and kept surveillance at their residential place.
“Police pounced on the suspects at hostels in Diepkloof and Jabulani on Thursday evening and successfully apprehended them.
“Upon searching the premises, a positively identified White Toyota Quest alleged to have been used the day Sepuru was brutally murdered and a Norinco pistol were confiscated,” he said.
The five suspects aged between 20 and 55 were charged, have been charged with murder and possession of unlicensed firearm.
They are expected to appear in the Protea Magistrates Court on Monday.
The Hawks said investigations were continuing and more arrests were expected.
In a joint statement, the management of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department commended the police officers who worked tirelessly to arrest the five suspects.
“This relentless spirit shown by law enforcement proves that no stone was left unturned in seeking and apprehending the wanted suspects.
“These arrest send a strong message that there is no place for such heinous acts in our country. “We really condemn the senseless murder of Sepuru and we hope that the full weight of the law hits hard on the perpetrators knowing that Sepuru’s death was not in vain,” they said..