The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks) has intensified the search for man who shot and killed a SA Police Service (SAPS) captain following a heated argument.
The 44-year-old police captain, Sibusiso Bethwell Mthombothi based in Mbombela was shot dead on Saturday night, at around 10pm.
Mthombothi was allegedly shot dead at a car wash in KaNyamazane following a heated argument with a man who had crashed into his vehicle.
Mpumalanga spokesperson for the Hawks, Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi said no one has been arrested for the murder.
“Nelspruit police captain Sibusiso Bethwell Mthombothi, 44, lost his life during the shooting at KaNyamazane. No suspect has been arrested,” said Sekgotodi.
“The team is out tracing the suspect's whereabouts.”
She said that anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of the suspect should contact the nearest police station.
“All information received will be treated with confidentiality,” she said.
Mthombothi took his car to the car wash on Saturday.
“Apparently, while his car was parked there waiting to be washed, it was bumped by someone who was also at the car wash,” said Sekgotodi.
“The matter was discussed amongst the two, with the assistance of a crime intelligence police sergeant, who was with the deceased. An agreement was made for payment of R5,000 for the repair of the damages.”
It is further alleged that the crime intelligence sergeant took the vehicle which had bumped his colleague’s car, and drove it to the police captain’s parents’ home.
This seizure of the vehicle, according to the Hawks, was done pending the payment of the agreed R5,000.
After seizing the vehicle and parking it, the police officers came back to the car wash. The police sergeant then left the captain at the car wash.
“It is alleged that an argument ensued between the suspect and the police captain. When the sergeant came back, he found the police captain shot,” said Sekgotodi.
“According to witnesses, it is alleged that during the argument, the suspect took out a firearm and shot at the police captain. He later succumbed to his injuries.”
There was an exchange of gunfire when the police sergeant tried to arrest the alleged killer.
The Hawks said the suspected killer shot at the police sergeant, who then fired back.
The alleged murderer managed to flee on foot.
“Preliminary investigation was conducted by the team comprising of the Hawks Nelspruit-based serious organised crime investigation unit, together with Mpumalanga provincial organised crime, Nelspruit crime intelligence and the local criminal record center,” said Sekgotodi.
The Hawks in Mpumalanga are requesting any community member with information which can lead to the arrest of the perpetrator to contact the nearest police station.
“The police are also requesting Sibusiso Maseko from Mariti — whom they believe can assist them in solving the murder case — to come forward,” said Sekgotodi.