Mokgoro welcomes arrest of five people accused of brutal murder of two North West cops
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Pretoria - North West premier Job Mokgoro has welcomed the swift arrest of five people believed to be the murderers of two police officers who were found burnt in their state vehicle.
Mokgoro said the incident had shocked him and that he hoped the arrests would send a strong message to perpetrators of criminals acts who have regard for the law.
"As we strongly condemn this despicable incident, we call on the members of the public to always work closely with the law enforcement officers in the fight against crime, and appreciate the work they do in keeping our areas free of criminal acts," Mokgoro said in a statement.
The five were arrested in Logageng village near Tshidilamolomo on Wednesday, following the murders of Constable Simon Ngakaemang Ntsekeletsa, 50, and Sergeant Mojalefa Horatius Molete, 42, who were based at the Mareetsane Police Station, about 60 kilometers from Mahikeng.
The bodies of the policemen were found burnt at the back of their bakkie in Ganyesa.
The Hawks said the two officers were on patrol in a state vehicle when they came across a vehicle loaded with suspected stolen goats at around 9pm on Monday.
“The (officers) reported the incident to the commander and mentioned that they would be bringing the suspect's vehicle to the police station soon," Hawks spokesperson in North West Captain Tlangelani Rikhotso said.
"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 cellphones nor the police radio. A manhunt for the police officers was immediately launched."
On Tuesday community members alerted the police about blood stains found on the road leading to the police station. A knife and the officers’ police badge were also found.
"Further investigations led the team to a burnt state vehicle wherein the bodies of the deceased police officers were discovered,“ Rikhotso said.
The five suspects were allegedly found in possession of a 9mm pistol taken from the slain officers, she said, adding that a hammer, clothing with suspected blood stains and a vehicle had also been seized for further investigation.
The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in the North West also condemned the murders.
"Justice must be seen to be done for the families of the slain police officers to find closure knowing that the heartless murderers responsible for the horrendous and ghastly killings of their loved ones are behind bars,“ provincial chairperson Paul Sebegoe said.
The five suspects were expected to appear in the Ganyesa magistrate’s court on Friday on charges of murder, malicious damage to property and possession of a stolen firearm.