News making headlines in South Africa

The African Pangolin which was rescued from poachers in the North West area, recently.

Task team probe Nquthu shooting which left four men dead

KWAZULU-NATAL: A manhunt is currently underway by the province’s task team to locate the suspects, who are responsible for a shooting in the Nquthu vicinity, which left four men dead and a woman wounded, recently.

Provincial police spokesman, Lt Col Thulani Zwane said that on August 4 at about 7:30pm, three men were sent out by the Mabaso family to fetch some goods in the area.

“The men were travelling in their vehicle when they were approached by unknown suspects, who shot all three of them dead. Their bodies were found near the road at Ntabezibomvu,” he explained.

ALSO READ: Drive-by shooting suspects captured at hideout

It is alleged that the vehicle was then taken by the suspects, who proceeded to the Mabaso homestead, where they shot another man and an elderly woman. Both victims were seriously injured and taken to hospital for medical treatment.

“Later, a young man, identified as Philani Mabaso (21) died in hospital. A 69-year-old woman is still in hospital, receiving treatment,” he added.

The first three victims were identified as Nhlakanipho Mabaso (23), Nkomo Zulu (29) and Simphiwe Dlamini (30). Four counts of murder and a count of attempted murder are being investigated.

Anyone with information regarding the murders are urged to immediately contact their local police station or Crime Stop on 08600-10111.

Trio arrested for possession of explosives

LIMPOPO: The South African Police Service in Limpopo is coming down hard on all criminal syndicates within all clusters including the Ports of Entry.

Their dedication to the fight against crime was reaffirmed when they managed to seize explosives worth R300, 000, recently.

ALSO READ: Authorities probe ‘bomb’ devices found in Durban

Police reports indicated that on the day, a joint sting operation was held at the Beitbridge Port of Entry. A truck was stopped at the SARS scanner for scanning purposes.

Upon scanning, a suspicious image inside the trailer horse of the truck was identified. The consignment of explosives was subsequently seized.

A total of 750 blasting cartridge explosives and three roles of explosive cables were found. The truck was also seized. Subsequent to these recoveries, three suspects, aged between 36 and 45, were arrested.

The origin and destination of these explosives are still being determined. The suspects will soon appear in court. Provincial police commissioner, Lt Gen Nneke Ledwaba welcomed this great achievement by police officers.

Rare African Pangolin rescued from alleged poachers

NORTH WEST: A very rare male African Pangolin, which is part of the highly endangered species in the world, was rescued after allegedly being stolen from the Rampampa Mountains, just outside Mabeeskraal, Mogwase.

The pangolin was allegedly stolen and brought to Rustenburg on Wednesday, August 1, 2018. Following a tip-off from members of the community, the animal was found in possession of two accused at the Rustenburg Taxi Rank.

The suspects had the petrified animal inside a plastic bag and were about to leave with it in a taxi when the Phokeng Stock Theft Unit pounced on them.

According to information received, the taxi was stopped and searched. During the search, the animal with an estimated value of R400, 000 was found.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the suspects were about to sell the animal for R20, 000. The Pangolin is regarded as one of the world’s most sought after endangered species.

ALSO READ: Rhino poacher remanded in police custody

It was handed over for safekeeping to an animal expert, who is responsible for its transportation to the Hospital for Vulnerable Animals in Johannesburg.

It is alleged that pangolins, whose whole bodies are covered in scales, are caught due to unfounded beliefs of the great medicinal value of their scales.

The two accused, Surprise Moyani Nkomezulu (25) and Tlhobogang Daniel Mantsho (34) appeared in the Rustenburg Magistrate’s Court. They were released on R2, 500 bail each and will appear in the same court again later this month.

The cluster commander of Rustenburg, Maj Gen Arthur Adams commended the Stock Theft Unit for their swift reaction that led to the rescuing of the animal and apprehension of the two accused.

He said nature conservation is everyone’s priority and that the police will ensure that endangered species are fiercely protected. He also expressed his sincere appreciation to members of the community for their contribution towards the success.

  AUTHOR
Elaine Naidoo
Digital Editor

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