Czech fugitive Radovan krejcir and five others still need to sort out their legal representation at the Palm Ridge Court in the East Rand. The six are on trial for attempted murder, kidnapping, and dealing in drugs. 090614. Picture: Chris Collingridge

Cape Town – National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega welcomed the conviction of Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir on kidnapping, attempted murder and drug dealing charges on Monday.

“After years of terrorising people and assisted by criminal officers, Radovan Krejcir has finally been convicted,” Phiyega said in a statement hours after the known criminal and several of his cohorts were convicted.

“I wish to thank the investigating team for the hard work. I know that it was a difficult undertaking and huge risk to their personal safety but nonetheless they didn’t let that deter them.”

Krejcir’s co-accused Desai Luphondo, Siboniso Miya, and former warrant officers George Nthoroane, Samuel Maropeng and Jan Lefu Mofokeng were all found guilty of kidnapping. All, except Nthoroane, were also convicted on the attempted murder charge. Nthoroane was found guilty of common assault.

“The conviction of the three Hawks members is a matter of serious concern. There is no doubt that there are more police officers involved in criminality linked to Krejcir. Congratulations to the team for a job well done,” said Phiyega.

“Today’s conviction should send a loud message to people from anywhere in the world that South Africa cannot be used as a backyard for criminal activities and for fugitives to run to. We believe that once his trials are over, Bedfordview and the circles he was moving in will be much safer places for law abiding people to move, and that the horror stories so often mentioned in the same sentence with his name will be a thing of the past.”

Phiyega said, through a dedicated task team of detectives, led by Captain Freddy Ramuhala, the police worked tirelessly to ensure that Krejcir’s criminal activities were properly investigated.

Krejcir, with the help of his five co-accused, kidnapped and assaulted Bhekithemba Lukhele in June 2013.

Lukhele was kidnapped from his Katlehong home after his brother Doctor, who worked for a cargo company at OR Tambo International airport, apparently disappeared with 25kg of crystal methamphetamine (tik) he was supposed to help transport to Australia, allegedly for Krejcir.

Lukhele was reportedly held at Krejcir’s Money Point gold exchange business in Bedfordview, Johannesburg, and tortured in a bid to have him reveal his brother’s whereabouts.

Sentencing proceedings in the case will start on September 11.

Krejcir is on trial in several other matters involving two murder charges, as well as a case of conspiracy to commit murder.

ANA