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FIREARMS REMOVED FROM UNLAWFUL OWNER SUSPECT ARRESTEDApril 12, 2023
Four foreign Nationals, Paulino Ticha Quembo(33), Nelson Mudavanhu(34), and Lawrence Simango (34) appeared before the Middelburg Regional Court while Dennis Spencer Chipenza(35) attended in absentia on Thursday, 6 April after they were arrested during a tracing operation conducted by the Hawks Middleburg based Serious Organised Crime Investigation Team, Middleburg Detectives and Crime Intelligence KwaMhlanga and Middleburg on Wednesday, 5 April. Suspects are charged with Murder of an officer, Attempted murder, and Armed Robbery.
It is alleged that during the night of Monday accused who is suspected to be dealing with the theft of diesel entered one of the mines and pointed the security on duty with firearms and robbed them of a full diesel tanker and fled the scene.
On the same day, a member from Crime Intelligence Middleburg received a tip-off from an informer regarding the robbery of diesel at a mine near N4. The member contacted his colleague from Middleburg Detective Services, and they drove together in a state vehicle, patrolling the Stofberg road as directed by the source.
Along the road, they came across a yellow diesel bowser matching the description, they made a U-turn and stopped it. It is alleged that three male persons alighted from the truck and started shooting at the officers. In the process, one member Sgt Simon Mbonani (43) was shot and later succumbed to his injuries while the other, Sgt Raphael Sthembiso Magubane (43) sustained serious injuries and was taken to hospital for medical treatment. Three pistols with 25 rounds of ammunition and five cell phones were recovered at the crime scene.
The case was postponed to 13 April for further investigation and legal representatives. There is a possibility of adding more charges as the investigation continues.