Business robberies have been surging throughout the Volksrust business community, growing into a significant cause for concern. However, due to the efforts of many, there appears to be headway being made.
On Friday, 7 May 2021, the Newcastillian – Online News discussed the issue with Mornè Potgieter of Ithemba Security, who explained that the said crime was rapidly getting out of hand. As a result, several strategies had been implemented, resulting in various successes.
Since then, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has made headway with officials conducting a well-knitted investigation, leading to the arrest of a 40-year-old police constable on Monday, 10 May 2021.
Brigadier Leonard Hlathi explains, “Reports indicate that the area of Volksrust abruptly experienced an uptrend of business robberies where cases were registered and subsequently investigated. The latest robbery occurred on 10 April 2021, where a group of armed suspects violently stormed a certain clothing shop and held the staff hostage at gunpoint. They (suspects) then instructed victims to stay in the storeroom whilst they helped themselves with various items, including cell phones and some clothing items, to an estimated value of about R150 000.”
Following up on information, six of the men were arrested and were found in possession of an unlawful firearm and ammunition. However, four of the said suspects escaped from custody at Volksrust Magistrate’s Court. They were scheduled to make their second court appearance on 19 April 2021. The Brigadier adds, “However, Welcome Mncube was rearrested, and the rest, Jima Dube, Sandile Gasa, as well as Emmanuel Sibanda are still on their undue freedom.”
During the investigation, police discovered that the arrested member was also allegedly involved in some of the robberies. Hence, he was sought and apprehended, and his court appearance was planned for Tuesday, 11 May 2021. Brigadier Hlathi states, “An internal investigation against him to determine his fitness to remain as a police officer is underway.”
The Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Thulani Phahla, has vowed to get rid of all corrupt elements within the system. He states, “We can never allow good police officers to be dented by a few who further their illicit behaviour from within the service.”
People are urged to contact police in Volksrust on the whereabouts of the three escapees on 017 735 9913 or the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111. Alternatively, you can send information via MYSAPSAPP. All received information will be treated as confidential, and callers may opt to remain anonymous.
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