Motorists warned of spikes, one suspect arrested for his suspected involvement

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has warned motorists to be vigilant on the roads, particularly on either side of N4 Road at Hectorspruit, near Impala Siding and Komatipoort in Nkomazi. The warning by the General is due to incidents of tyre spikes that were reported recently at the said area meanwhile police at Komatipoort arrested a 20-year-old male suspect in the evening of Wednesday 13 April 2022 suspected to be in connection with the reported incidents, however an investigation is underway to validate that.

As days went by, leading to Easter holidays there were reports of suspects who targeted motorists who were either going to cross the Libombo Border Gate or were from the Libombo Border Gate, where they would place some spikes at strategic areas knowing that their victims would be vulnerable.

These incidents normally occur late in the evening or in the early hours of the morning. Once motorists drive over these objects, their tyres get punctured or their vehicles damaged in the process, so they are bound to stop and inspect their vehicles. While doing so, the armed suspects then violently approach and rob them of their valuables, such as cash, cellphones and other personal items.

In the recent sad incident, a taxi driver was hacked to death allegedly by a gang of about 20 armed suspects who reportedly put spikes on the road he was travelling on. This was on Monday, 11 April 2022 around 23h00 during the time when he was ferrying commuters from South Africa to Mozambique. The attack occurred between Hectorspruit and the Coopersdal junction. After the vehicle stopped, occupants were robbed. He (the driver) was unfortunately certified dead after being found few metres from the minibus he was driving.

Police at Komatipoort were notified about the incident and a case with a count of murder and of armed robbery was opened. The members immediately began with their probe as they could not fold their arms whilst suspects pounced on innocent motorists. They (police) then followed some information and went to a certain tarvern in Mjajane (Hectorspruit) around 23h00 yesterday (13 April 2022) where they arrested the said suspect.

During his arrest, police found an unlicensed firearm with ammunition in his possession. He was charged accordingly and preliminary probe has also revealed that the man is originally from the country of Mozambique and was in South Africa illegally hence a charge of contravention of the Immigration Act was added against him. Police cannot rule out the possibility of linking him to the robbery incidents alluded to as the investigation continues and some items were recovered.

Thus far following the man’s arrest, the probe by police has led to the discovery of various places where suspects are believed to have hidden suspected robbed items. In those places, the astute members managed to find more items, including cell phones, cash (both Mozambican and South African notes) as well as other dangerous weapons. All the evidence suggests that there is a syndicate of some kind which preys on travellers and police are hopeful that more arrests will be made soon.

The suspect is due to appear before the Komatipoort Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 19 April 2022 facing the said charges. Meanwhile the men and women in blue are still pursuing the remaining suspects and members of the public are urged to alert police on their whereabouts by calling the Crime Stop at 08600 10111 or send information via MYSAPSAPP. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela further praised members for their swift response thereby arresting the suspect and recovering a firearm with ammunition as well as suspected stolen properties. “We have never rested since it was brought to our attention that there were suspects who targeted motorists, using spikes. We have now made a major breakthrough with this arrest and we are adamant that more will be revealed regarding the reported robberies” commented the General.

Related posts