Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency(ANA)
Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency(ANA)

KZN cop and undocumented migrants nabbed in Mpumalanga over dagga, illegal cigarettes

By Botho Molosankwe Time of article published Jun 12, 2020

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Johannesburg - A KwaZulu-Natal police officer was arrested in Mpumalanga while allegedly helping two illegal foreigners to bring dagga and illegal cigarettes into South Africa.

The officer was still in his uniform and driving a marked police car when he was nabbed.

Spokesperson for the Mpumalanga Police, Brigadier Leonard Hlathi, said members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) were conducting routine patrols along the Mahamba border gate when they spotted two women, Ntombikayise Nkambule, 46, and Nokuthula Ginindza, 48, throwing bags over the fence into the country. 

He said the officers devised a plan to approach them but moments later, noticed a police vehicle stopping at the exact spot where the bags had been placed. Inside was 36-year-old Constable Ntokozo Zungu.

"The females started loading the bags as well as cigarette cartons into the police bakkie while Zungu stayed in the vehicle. The SANDF members then grew suspicious and approached Zungu to make enquiries but he told them that he was on duty, chasing a vehicle but decided to stop and assist the two females. 

"As they (SANDF members) were discussing the matter, Ginindza as well as Nkambule continued loading the goods into the bakkie whereafter they all jumped in the bakkie and left.

Hlathi said the soldiers then reported the matter to the local police station at the border gate. Police officers then swiftly responded and found the bakkie parked along the road.

"Upon searching it, they found bags containing dagga as well as cartons of illegal cigarettes. A further probe revealed that Zungu who was wearing police uniform, is attached to a police station in Kwazulu Natal, had crossed over to Mpumalanga illegally by breaking the lockdown regulations.

"Ginindza and Nkambule, who are from the Kingdom of Eswatini were undocumented. The police did not hesitate to arrest all three suspects on the spot."

The three appeared at the Piet Retief Magistrate's Court on Thursday for dealing in dagga, possession of illegal cigarettes, Contravention of the Disaster Management Act as well as the Immigration Act.

"During the trio's appearance in court, Zungu was granted R5000 bail whilst Ginindza as well as Nkambule were remanded in custody and will appear again on June 24.

"Meanwhile internal disciplinary steps will be instituted against the member at his province. 

The Provincial Commissioner Mondli Zuma welcomed the arrest and has ent a strong warning to law enforcement officers as well as members of the public who collude in criminal activities. 

"We will not allow criminality, particularly within our ranks more so during this challenging period in our country where they are called upon to protect and preserve lives. Such acts have the potential of denting the image of other upstanding law enforcers who are working hard to root out crime and corruption. We will arrest anyone who commits crime and engage in corrupt activities without fear or favour, even if it means arresting our own, " he said.


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