Arrests made in case of two North West cops burnt in their car
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Johannesburg - Five people have been arrested for the murders of two North West police officers whose bodies were found in a burnt state vehicle on Tuesday.
The suspects were arrested during the early hours of Wednesday in Logageng village.They were arrested following a manhunt by a multi-disciplinary team consisting of the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Detective service, Tactical Response Team and members of the Local Criminal Records.
They have been charged with the murders of Constable Simon Ngakaemang Ntsekeletsa, 50, and Sergeant Mojalefa Horatius Molete, 42, who were stationed at Mareetsane Police Station.
North West Hawks’ Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said allegations were that the two officers were on patrol duties around 9pm on Tuesday when they came across a vehicle loaded with suspected stolen goats.
He said the officers reported the incident to the commander and mentioned that they would be bringing the suspect's vehicle to the police station soon.
“About an hour later, the police reported that they were not far from the police station. However, the police officers never arrived at the police station and they could not be reached on both their cell phones nor the police radio.
“A manhunt for the police officers was immediately launched.
The following day, Rikhotso said, community members alerted the police of blood stains on the road leading to the police station. She said when officers went there, they found a knife and a police badge belonging to one of the deceased.
A second badge was found near Mareetsane road.
“Further investigations led the team to a burnt state vehicle wherein the bodies of the deceased police officers were discovered.
The bodies were found in Logageng Village, almost 200km away from Mareetsane Police Station.
“The team followed all leads and worked tirelessly until they traced and arrested the five suspects who were allegedly found in possession of a 9mm pistol which was taken from the slain police officers. A hammer, clothing with suspected blood stains and a vehicle have been seized for further investigation.
National Head of the Hawks Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya condemned the killings and applauded the joint team for the swift arrest and recovery of the police firearm.
Lebeya also sent condolences to the families of the slain offices.
“We certainly hope that the families of our fallen police officers would find comfort in the arrest of suspects and look forward to successful prosecution on these criminal acts”.
Minister of Police General Bheki Cele said an attack on the police was an attack on the state.
“This is why we will leave no stone unturned and will utilise all resources at our disposal to ensure those who commit such heinous acts against our officers in blue are found and face the full night of the law," he said.
The suspects were expected to make their first appearance on July 30 at the Ganyesa Magistrate’s Court.
They face charges of murder, malicious damage to property and possession of a stolen firearm.