Group allegedly behind police killings, CIT robberies denied bail

Five suspects believed to be behind police killings, several business robberies and cash-in-transit heist in the Eastern Cape appeared in the East London Regional Court on Wednesday.

They are facing charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, two counts of attempted murder and malicious injury to property. 

GROUP ALLEGEDLY INVOLVED IN POLICE KILLINGS

The five, who are Fikile Msindwana (54), Camagu Zimela (47), Siphelo Mase (34), Siyabonga Mkhangeli (34) and Noveki Maqungeni (38), were arrested by East London based Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation on the same day they appeared in court.

It is alleged that between 2018 and 2019, as a group, they were involved in several business robberies, police killings and cash-in-transit heists in the Eastern Cape. 

“Among the 12 cases in which the suspects are implicated, some of the dockets were still under investigation while three were already before Mdantsane Court,”

said police spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela.

Two of the suspects Zimela and Mase had already appeared for three other cases on 13 May 2022 but were denied bail.

The duo appeared again in the Mdantsane Regional Court for additional nine cases where they were joined in the dock by Msindwana, Mkhangeli and Maqungeni as alleged accomplices to the cases. 

All the suspects were also remanded in custody.

The matter was remanded to 1 July 2022 to finalise the investigations and hand over the copies of the dockets thus setting a trial date.

Provincial Head, Major General Mboiki Obed Ngwenya commended the team for the sterling job.

SUSPECTS IN COURT FOR ARMED ROBBERY

Meanwhile, in Rustenburg, eight suspects appeared before the Magistrates’ Court on Thursday in connection with an alleged armed robbery.

The group appeared on charges of armed robbery and possession of suspected stolen property. 

Koster police were doing their daily patrols when they received information of a robbery in progress at business premises. 

Police reacted immediately and the victims described the get-away vehicle that was used by the suspects. 

The information was shared with nearby stations and units.

Police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Amanda Funani said while Phokeng Highway patrol members were on patrol on the N4, at Spitskop, close to Rustenburg, the suspicious vehicle and occupants were spotted.  

“The vehicle was stopped by police and the five suspects, aged between 32 and 52, and their vehicle was searched. 

“Two firearms, with serial numbers filed off, were found inside the vehicle.  A further search in the boot of the vehicle led to the recovery of false number plates, as well as mobile phones, suspected to have been robbed from the business in Koster,”

said Lieutenant Colonel Funani.

ROBBERS MIGHT BE LINKED TO OTHER CRIMES

The suspects were immediately arrested and they are facing charges of armed robbery, possession of suspected stolen property and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition. 

Further information, followed up by members from Rustenburg Mounted Unit and Public Order Policing (POP) Unit resulted in the discovery of a “safe house” in Rustenburg North, where three more suspects, aged between 21 and 43, were apprehended.  

A vehicle (VW Polo), believed to have been used during the commission of the crime was recovered.

The suspects will be profiled to establish any linkages to other robberies.

The North West Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena congratulated the police for working together and acting fast in arresting the suspects.

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