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Limpopo cops nab over 2 000 suspects at the weekend

One of the arrests was of a dangerous and heavily armed suspect who had earlier escaped from the Haenertsburg police station.

Limpopo police and the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) have been commended for the arrest of over 2 000 people in different crime-related incidents in Limpopo at the weekend.

The sterling work of the police and the SANDF has also been commended for the prompt arrest of an alleged dangerous and heavily armed suspect, who had escaped from police custody at Haenerstburg, near Makgobaskloof in the Tzaneen policing area.

Police in Limpopo said the 21-year-old suspect, Ashley Gundani, was re-arrested on Sunday by the Lebowakgomo Crime Intelligence and Masemola K9 Units during a joint operation. The operational teams comprised the Crime Intelligence, Stock theft, Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) units, Detectives, POPs, VCIU, K9, Limpopo Highway Patrol (LHP), Visible Policing and Crime Prevention with support by the SANDF and the provincial and municipal traffic police.

Limpopo police spokesperson, Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe, said Gundani had escaped from lawful custody on Sunday, 30 August at the Haenertsburg police station. “He had escaped when police were conducting routine services in the cells. At the time he was faced with a series of criminal offenses such as burglary, rape and kidnapping,” said Ngoepe.

Ngoepe said a further 2 031 suspects were for various criminal offenses, including driving under the influence of alcohol. He said those arrested, aged between 17 and 51 were due to appear in different courts across the province where they will face charges ranging from murder to rape, stock theft, possession of unlicensed firearms and possession of suspected stolen motor vehicles, as well as contravention of the regulations under Disaster Management Act.

“Several items such as 13 firearms, 3 rifles, 5 motor vehicles, 10 cell phones, 438 555 counterfeit cigarettes, 61 dangerous weapons such as knives, 12 107 grams of dagga, 112 grams of nyaope and 1 311 bottles of 18ml liquor, were seized during the operation. A total of 2 782 compliance inspections at liquor premises and 241 liquor control operations were conducted, 130 roadblocks, 149 rural safety operations, 3 514 stop and search were conducted as well as 24 shebeens closed, with 15 677 vehicles and 31 610 people were searched,” added Ngoepe.

Meanwhile, police arrested three suspects between the ages of 22 and 44 in Northam outside Bela-Bela in connection with a business robbery incident committed on 7 September 2020 at a local trading store.

Ngoepe said the arrest was effected in a concerted effort by Bela-Bela crime intelligence and Rooiberg detectives soon after they received information about the hideout of the alleged suspects. During the arrest, Ngoepe said one Toyota Etios vehicle, Samsung cellphone and a single pellet gun were recovered. He said those arrested have already started appearing before various magistrate courts throughout the province while others were due to appear during the course of this week.

The provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba has commended the sterling job by the police and the SANDF by bringing the alleged perpetrators of crime to book.