Limpopo Transport and Community Safety MEC, Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya has issued a stern warning to unregistered scholar transporters following the Mutale crash. 

The MEC’s warning follows an accident that led to the injury of 30 learners who were transported to school in an open truck in the Mutale area, Vhembe District this morning. The accident happened on the D3689 next to the Traffic College at around 7 O’clock.

It is alleged that the speeding driver lost control of the mini-truck and overturned.

30 leaners escaped with serious injuries in a truck crash in Mutale
Mutale Learners Crash

30 LEANERS INJURED IN MUTALE CRASH

Twenty learners were critically injured while ten escaped with serious injuries. MEC Lerule-Ramakhanya says parents must also ensure that their children are transported by registered and complying vehicles.

The MEC says law enforcement officers will be tightened in all the identified areas to ensure the safety of learners who rely on public or arranged transportation to school. The injured were also taken to Donald Fraser Hospital.

UNREGISTERED SCHOLARS WARNED

“It is regrettable that we woke up to a horrific accident involving learners in Mutale. Traveling in an open truck to school. We are grateful that there was no fatality recorded.

“But I want to emphasize that all those that are transporting learners must register with the department. We are going to start operations looking at all unregistered vehicles that are putting the lives of our children at risk, we will impound and arrest. Lawlessness will also not thrive under our watch,” says MEC Lerule-Ramakhanya.

A man attempts to commit suicide after killing his ex-girlfriend in a village under the Ritavi policing area, Limpopo.  

It is alleged that Tebogo Malatji was on Sunday, 24 April 2022 at about 21:10 stabbed to death by her alleged ex-boyfriend, at Petanenge village in the Ritavi policing area.

The victim was apparently walking from the shops with her friend and two children when she came across the suspect. He then stabbed her with a sharp object and thereafter fled the scene. The victim was certified dead on the scene.

MAN THREATENED TO COMMIT SUICIDE 

A case of murder was opened and the 35-year-old suspect was arrested today at about 09:00. This follows an intensive search operation by the police with assistance of the community members.

He was reportedly found lying unconscious on the nearby mountains after he allegedly consumed a poisonous substance in an attempt to commit suicide.

Some angry community members who were apparently seeking vengeance on the suspect, started attacking the Police Officers and pelted their vehicles with stones. One member was seriously injured as a result and two police vehicles were damaged. The suspect was eventually rescued and taken to hospital.

POLICE OPEN CASE 

Police have opened a case of malicious damage to property and assault with intent to cause grevious bodily harm against community members. There are no arrests yet. The suspect in the murder of the said woman, will appear in Ritavi magistrate’s court as soon as he recovers.

“We strongly warn community members to desist from resorting to violence when faced with relationship challenges. But must instead seek assistance that will enable them to resolve their issues,” said Lieutenant General Hadebe.

“The tendency of some community members who take the law into their own hands is viewed in a very serious light and all the suspects that are linked to the attack on our members and damaging the state resources during the vigilante incident will be hunted down and brought to book.

“Community members must desist from taking the law into their own hands. But must instead work with the police to fight crime.” Concluded Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe.

Anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of the suspects responsible for the attack on police should contact Detective Warrant Officer Ronny Baloyi on 083 330 4133. The crime stop number 0860010111or the nearest police station.

The simultaneous operations conducted at all the Limpopo Districts from 17 April to 24 April 2022 led to the arrest of 1718 suspects. They are aged between 20 and 63 for various offences including possession of illicit cigarettes, possession and dealing in drugs.

Possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, murder, attempted murder, robberies, burglaries. Theft of a motor vehicle, sexual offences, stock theft, fraud, arson, and Contravention of the Road Traffic Act.

On 24 April 2022, the Police were on operation at Moletlane village when they arrested two suspects aged 38 and 63 for bribery, resisting arrest, possession and dealing with dagga. Police recovered dagga at a street value of R7000.00.

1718 SUSPECTS ARRESTED

A 27-year-old suspect was arrested for possession of a stolen motor vehicle at the R101 road in Westenburg.

The suspect aged 41 was nabbed on 21 April 2022 at Jane Furse, Sekhukhune. For an armed robbery case that occurred in January 2022 in the Meckleburg policing area. Allegedly, the Police received a tip-off and they swiftly reacted to the information and the suspect was found and also arrested.

DEALING WITH ILLICIT CIGARETTES

The Police in Hlogotlou arrested a 32-year-old suspect at Vleesboom for possession and dealing with illicit cigarettes. During the arrest, Police seized 41 cartoons of Remington Gold and 02 cartoons of other illegal cigarettes.

Members of the Limpopo Highway Patrol arrested a suspect aged 21 for possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition at Malatane village in the Lebowakgomo policing area. Allegedly, the suspect who owns a spaza shop in the area threatened his customers with a firearm. The police were then notified about the incident(s).

Two suspects aged 20 and 30 were arrested for possession of a hijacked Toyota Corolla at Tshivhilidulu village. It is alleged that the Police received information about the suspects who were driving a motor vehicle that was hijacked in Maake.

During these operations, Police confiscated 08 firearms, 02 stolen motor vehicles, 67 dangerous weapons including knives. 1 015 500ml liquor, 2049 sticks of illicit cigarettes and also 5791 grams of dagga. 11 grams of Nyaope, 04 dagga plants, 1775 fines and also compliance notices relating to the Road Traffic Act were issued.

The suspects arrested during these operations are expected to appear before different magistrate courts throughout the Province.

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, has acknowledged the efforts. Which results in the apprehension of the criminals in this province.

A foreign national received a hefty jail sentence by the Limpopo Division of the High Court in Polokwane today, 21 April 2022. This after he was convicted of raping and brutally killing a 55-year-old businesswoman who was a British National.

The accused, a 32-year-old Zimbabwean national, Andrea Imbayarwo was sentenced to two life imprisonments for raping and killing Christine Robinson. She was one of the owners of Raditau Lodge in Thabazimbi in the Waterberg District. This horrendous crime was committed in 2014.

HEFTY SENTENCE FOR FOREIGN NATIONAL

The deceased was found in her bedroom on the morning of 30 July 2014 at about 07:30. The police were called and on arrival at the scene, the victim was found with the knife still stuck in her neck. She was certified dead by the paramedics.

Police commenced with investigations and it soon transpired that the accused, who was employed at the said Lodge, was missing. It was then discovered that the same person on 2014-07-30 in the early hours of the morning, hired a vehicle to take him to Beitbridge Border Post.

BRITISH NATIONAL WOMAN KILLED

With the aim to go also go to Zimbabwe. On 30 July 2020. The Police received information from a reliable source about the location of the accused and he was arrested.

Further investigations revealed that the victim was also raped and robbed of some valuables. He was never granted bail until he was sentenced.

Four foreign Nationals who were apprehended for being in possession of suspected stock theft in Polokwane, Limpopo. They were also arrested for contravening the Immigration Act on 05 April 2022. They have appeared before Polokwane Magistrate court on Tuesday 19 April 2022.

Petros Mbedzi (41), Phenuel Ndou (36), Hulisani Mbedzi (36) and Bokans Mave (36) were denied bail and their cases were postponed to Friday 29 April 2022.

ARRESTED FOR STOCK THEFT IN POLOKWANE

The suspects were arrested at Nirvana N1 traffic circle outside Polokwane while driving an Isuzu bakkie with a trailer loaded with 52 goats and 4 sheep.

Police members from the corporate communication and administration services were busy with logistical duties when they spotted the said vehicle with four occupants. They stopped the vehicle and immediately called for police backup for assistance. While interrogating the suspects about the origin of the livestock.

The two members are not from the Stock Theft environment. But the Police instinct in them kicked in when they saw the livestock in transit.

Four foreign nationals arrested for stock theft in Polokwane
Stock theft in Polokwane

NO PROPER DOCUMENTATION

The suspects failed to produce proper documentations of the livestock and were immediately arrested on the spot. The vehicle with a trailer were seized. Preliminary investigations also revealed that the suspects were in the country illegally. The livestock was stolen from Zimbabwe and destined to be sold in Gauteng province.

Afterwards, the member from Corporate communication together with the Limpopo Provincial Stock Theft and Vereeniging Stock theft unit conducted a tactical intelligence driven operation in Gauteng province. Subsequently, they managed to recover 28 stolen goats which were kept at a plot in Vereeniging policing precinct.

Furthermore, the operation continued to Musina in Limpopo province resulting in 116 goats believed to be stolen from Zimbabwe also impounded in a farm.

The total value of the livestock is estimated at R240000. 00

Preliminary investigations revealed that the livestock were illegally transported from Zimbabwe and kept at a farm outside Musina for brandmarking and later to be transported to Gauteng province.

The Provincial Commissioner of the police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe thanked the two members. This is after working out of their lines of duty to intercept the livestock thieves. “If every police officer and members of the community can work like this. Crime levels will be reduced drastically across the Province,” concluded the General.

The R15.3-million government shack tender corruption for the construction of the Talana Hostel in Tzaneen, Limpopo is set for a trial date on 24 June 2022.

The six accused, Constance Mohlala, Raymond Makoto Nkwane, Thobamotse Jeremiah Makofane, Simphiwe Nolwethemba Maphisa, Tsokollo Pacanin Monareng and Lerato Pearl Dikhutso have appeared in Polokwane Specialised Commercial Crimes Court, on three counts of fraud, corruption and forgery.

LIMPOPO SHACK TENDER CORRUPTION CASE

The accused were arrested in December 2020, and they are out on bail. Constance Mohlala was granted bail of R20 000 and all other accused are out on bail of R10 000 each.

SUSPECTS ACCUSED OF FRAUDULENT WAYS

It is alleged that the suspects fraudulently obtained a tender of Talana shacks by using misrepresentations. They forged credentials of land surveyors and architects. They were not permitted by the professionals to use their documents.

The suspects claimed the amount of over R2 million out of R15 million. The money was supposed to be used for building the 192 shacks and 53 toilets. The case is postponed to 24 June 2022 for a trial date.

Limpopo MEC for Social Development Nkakareng Rakgoale will visit the Malatji family of Moleketla Village.This is where a two-year-old boy was murdered, allegedly by his father, in a family tragedy.

According to police reports, on Good Friday, a 40-year-old man allegedly strangled his two-year-old son. He also attempted to kill his daughter aged seven. The Father then later committed suicide.

According to police the father took his two kids and indicated he was going to kill them.

“The Police were called and were stopped by the community along the way who were walking with the bloodied seven-year-old daughter. The child also took the police to the spot where the incident happened. On arrival, they also found the two-year-old dead from apparent strangulation and the father hanging from a tree.”’

Rakgoale has added her voice in condemning the murder, She has urged parents who have domestic challenges to not resort to violence and harm children. 

“We condemn in the strongest terms this tragic incident. It can’t be that when people feel aggrieved, they resort to harming the little ones,” she said. 

MEC NKAKARENG RAKGOALE VISIT 

MEC Rakgoale’s visit is scheduled as follows:

Date: Thursday, 21st April 2022
Venue: Malatji Family, Moleketla Village, Bolobedu South, Greater Tzaneen Municipality
Time: 13:00

In the past Easter weekend in 2022, Limpopo accounted for 20 fatalities from 55 serious road accidents. The number has gone down by 14 from the 34 accumulated in 2021.

The preliminary statistics were released by MEC for Transport and Community safety Mavhungu Lerule-Ramakhanya on Wednesday.

LIMPOPO EASTER WEEKEND FATALITIES

Mopani recorded 20 crashes, Capricorn 13, Waterberg 12, with Vhembe and Sekhukhune recording 5 each.

“The killing of pedestrians by speeding vehicles on our roads remains a serious pest,” she said.

“However, Vhembe is the only district that recorded the deaths of pedestrians last weekend. I want to commend our road users in all the other districts for heeding our call for visibility and extra caution when crossing the roads.

“The rainy weather has also assisted because we had very few people walking on the side of the road,” said Lerule-Ramakhanya.

VHEMBE TAKING THE LEAD

Vhembe is still leading the pack in 2022 with fatalities where they are accounting for 7 deaths, a reduction of 5 as compared to last year.

Capricorn has seen an increase from 4 fatalities in 2021 to 5 this year. A decrease from 5 to 4 was recorded in Waterberg. Mopani has also recorded an increase from 2 to 3 fatalities.

“I must commend Sekhukhune for the huge reduction, from 9 in 2021 to just 1 this year.”

“We have also noted that the common cause of the fatal accidents reported in the previous weekend, 22 were as a result of speed that led to drivers losing control of their vehicles and overturning. Due to the high visibility of our officers on the roads, we recorded minimal accidents caused by reckless drivers.

ALCOHOL REMAINS ONE BIG PROBLEM

“The use of alcohol is another underlying factor in the numbers that we continue to report on a daily basis. We are also seeing a change of attitude toward Public Transport operators. Out of the 55 accidents reported, 4 of them were minibus taxis. We acknowledge the intervention by the Taxi Council and the bus industry,” continued Lerule-Ramakhanya.

“I want to commend our team in Capricorn and the officers stationed at the Polokwane Traffic Station Alcohol evidence centre for the arrest of 11 motorists who were found to be above the allowed alcohol limit.

“The arrest emanated from two operations along the Notorious R71 and the D19 roads on Friday evening. I was at the centre three months ago with PP Makgoba and the team when the centre was relaunched, and I am happy that what he demonstrated on the day was not a talk-shop but a real exercise aimed at eventually reducing crashes on our roads.”

“The abuse of alcohol by motorists does not end after the long Easter weekend. But it is something that we experience on weekends. I hope the team will continue with the operations to remove drunkards from our roads.”

Limpopo Treasury MEC, Seaparo Sekoati said he is humbled to see the partnership between Palabora Mining Company (PMC) and Leolo Community Trust. The two work together to contribute to the primary school that is going to be built in Mashishimale village, Phalaborwa.

Sekoati said what is even more important is that. It is not only a school that is going to offer shelters for learners, but it is also a contribution to local development.

“We have seen that local contractors have been appointed. But also we believe that these contractors are also going to create jobs for the people of Mashishimale village. So that everyone benefits from this programme,” said Sekoati addressing dignitaries at stakeholders who gathered during the official unveiling.

PALABORA MINING COMPANY MAKING A DIFFERENCE

“We believe that if we continue in this partnership with a government. Obviously they have contributed more in the sense that they have been able to allow our own contribution. To go to other communities that are less advantaged. So that we are able to do more in terms of this partnership.

“Together with the department of education we believe that this should be a lesson to many. But as well as the model that if we follow and work together to contribute,” said Sekoati.

Palabora Mining Company continue to make a difference in local communities
Seaparo Sekoati

16-CLASSROOM FOR THE LEOLO COMMUNITY

PMC senior manager Magnetite Mining and Processing, Sydney Kopong said PMC has committed to a project to build a 16-classroom school with the Leolo Community Trust in one of its eight surrounding rural local communities of Mashishimale to the value in excess of R 12 million.

“The newly constructed school will be named Moshibutjana Primary School. Named after one of the Traditional Leaders in the Mashishimale community. This initiative is supported by the company’s objective: Resourcing for success. Phalaborwa Mining Company has shown much potential, in its youth development programme in the year 2022. This year alone, PMC spent over R20 million offering 153 study bursaries to local learners. At all nationally recognized universities and institutions of higher learning, in a diversity of disciplines,” said Kopong.

The Easter Weekend joint operations conducted by members of the South African Police Service in Limpopo from 10 April until 17 April 2022, led to the apprehension of 1632 suspects. They are aged between 19 and 60 for various offences. This include possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, possession and dealing in drugs and illicit cigarettes. Murder, attempted murder, robberies, burglaries, theft of motor vehicles, Contravention of the Road Traffic Act, sexual offences, stock theft etc.

Members of Highway Patrol jointly with Motetema Detectives have arrested a 31-year-old suspect on 16 April 2022. He was positively linked to the murder committed on 13 April 2022 at Tafelkop in the Motetema policing area. The suspect was arrested at his house in Makapea village and police also confiscated an unlicensed 9mm pistol with ammunition.

ALSO READ: Operation Paseka result in 1087 Easter Weekend arrests in Limpopo

During the same operation, A 23-year-old suspect was arrested at Ga-Maroga village in the Driekop policing area for possession of illegal explosives that included Trunklines, Shock tubes and Electric detonators to the estimated street value of R180 000. Furthermore, police recovered Nyaope drugs and dagga during the search inside the house.

On 13 April 2022, An intelligence-led joint operation conducted by the Highway Patrol led to the apprehension of four suspects aged between 26 and 49. They were allegedly planning to commit business robbery at a local Supermarket in Ga-Matlou village in the Mokopane policing area.

The Team acted promptly in arresting the suspects and recovered one firearm with ammunition, 01 knife, hand gloves and a rope. Further investigation was conducted and the suspects were positively linked to Tinmyn’s business robbery.

JOINT OPERATIONS YIELD RESULTS

A 60-year-old man was arrested for illegal mining after he was caught transporting Chrome along the R37 near Sekhukhune on 11 April 2022 at about 07:00.Police stopped a white tipper truck that was found loaded with Chrome. Preliminary police investigations have revealed that the chrome was mined in Atok and was being transported to Mecklenburg.
On 13 April 2022, police recovered a motor vehicle stolen at Ga-Phago village in the Matlala policing area. The suspect was arrested while on his way to Mmotong near Seshego. The vehicle was found loaded with 116 suspected stolen live chickens to the estimated value of R10 000.

Two suspects aged 27 and 30, were arrested for dealing in Nyaope drugs in Seshego on 10 April 2022. Police were tipped off by members of the community. Upon arrival at the said house, they discovered 198 sachets of Nyaope drugs to the estimated street value of R10 000. One of the suspects was positively linked to a robbery case at Seshego.

In another operation conducted on 12 April 2022 at about 05:30, the SAPS Airwing reacted to a tip-off about suspected stolen cattle. They were being transported along the N1 South outside Polokwane. The suspect managed to evade the arrest. But police managed to recover five cattle and the white Ford Ranger bakkie with a trailer.

SHEBEENS CLOSED

During the operation, 321 fines were issued for liquor-related offences and 21 shebeens closed.

Furthermore, Police during these operations, confiscated 09 firearms, 01 stolen motor vehicle. 33 dangerous weapons, 2379 043ml liquor, 270 925 sticks of illicit cigarettes, 69548 grams of dagga and 05 dagga plants. 23 knives, 1720 fines and compliance notices relating to the Road Traffic Act were issued.

The suspects arrested during these operations are expected to appear before different magistrate courts throughout the Province.

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe, has lauded the successes reached during these operations. She thanked the community members for continuously supporting the Police in fighting against all sorts of criminality across the province.