The MEC for the Department of Transport and Community Safety in Limpopo, Florence Radzilani, commends the swift intervention made by Police to diffuse possible taxi violence in Lebowakgomo.

Radzilani directed the Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe “to ensure that no stone is left unturned, in ensuring that all the perpetrators of these atrocities, must be brought to book”.

MEC FLORENCE RADZILANI COMMENDS POLICE SWIFT RESPONSE 

The MEC has applauded the Police for arresting three suspects who were in possession of ammunition that was involved in a shootout with the Police.

She has condemned, in the strongest possible terms, acts of taxi violence which have the potential to affect ordinary members of the public.

ALSO READ: Taxi Association Chairperson murdered in Seshego

MEC Radzilani calls upon members of the public to come forward with information that can help the Police. This could help to trace and make further arrests of these cowards.

The Department will also make interventions, to mediate between the warring associations. This comes after a taxi owner was shot dead at the Lebowakgomo taxi rank last week Friday.

TAXI OWNER SHOT DEAD IN TAXI VIOLENCE 

 The local taxi owner aged 69, was fatally shot and taxis as well as private motor vehicles damaged.

It is alleged that a group of unknown suspects arrived at the taxi rank on foot at about 17:20. They started firing shots indiscriminately. Some of them threw stones at the taxis.

ALSO READ: MEC for transport awards the provincial best Taxi driver

Police and medical emergency services were called to the scene. Upon arrival, they found that the suspects had already fled the scene.

During the investigation, it was discovered that one of the taxi owners, who was sitting inside his private motor vehicle sustained multiple gunshot wounds. He was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to the injuries on arrival.

The deceased was identified as Joseph Madisha.

RELATED POST: Minister Bheki Cele pays a visit to massacred family members

The Polokwane Royal Tranquil Medi Spa is the place to be this coming Saturday, as the Something different lifestyle crew bring another exquisite event.

The Something different lifestyle movement is well known for bringing unique events around the Limpopo Province. This time around they bring in the concept of Jazz on Saturday, 4 March.

The concept of Jazz will see a 6 Men live band performance by the talented Kitchen Mess [Main Picture]. Support acts include SDL Djs, Mutshini, Varley Tee, Sir Kenny, Lebron.

There will be Whiskey tasting, cigar presentation and Fashion on the night.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT LIFESTYLE BRING CONCEPT OF JAZZ

“For Whiskey connoisseurs, this event shall tantalize your palatals and taste buds with exclusive single malt Whiskies from 5 Regions across the globe,” said event organizer Dr Tim Muthambi.

Something Different lifestyle Concept of Jazz event
Something Different lifestyle Concept of Jazz event

“Cigar collectors have an opportunity to indulge in mature cigars. Music fanatics shall be mesmerized with soothing melodies of jazz to compensate for the Whiskey & Cigar exhibition,” he explained.

“To awaken the taste buds, complementary finger snacks will be served. Our aisle features stalls of handmade fashion as well as a Live Band.”

FIRST OF ITS KIND IN POLOKWANE

“A Concept of Jazz has a “collector’s items” vibe, so why miss this event if you’re a collector of malt, aromatic cigars, fashion and good music? Dress up and join us.”

The event starts at 17:00 until late and the ticket prize is R 850 per person. For more information, you can contact Tim on 083 446 4296 or Kenny on 078 738 1179.

ALSO READ: Sapa Yopa fever hits the streets of Polokwane

The Limpopo Polokwane High Court has convicted and sentenced former police officer Lesiba Machabaphala (29) to 25 years imprisonment for murder of a 15-year-old girl, Dimakatso Alicia Mohlaloga. The accused was convicted of attempted murder. Failure to lock away a firearm in a prescribed manner, malicious damage to property. Endangering the life of others by shooting negligently and defeating the ends of justice. 

The former Protection Security Services unit in Polokwane and the deceased were staying in the same homestead as tenants. On 02 October 2020, the accused was seen moving around the house carrying a firearm in his hand. He then fired about fourteen shots at the door wherein the deceased and her mother were sleeping.

FORMER POLICE OFFICER RAN AWAY FROM THE SCENE 

The door leading to the deceased’s room was damaged and one of the bullets strucked her. The accused further refused that the deceased must be taken to the hospital. Thereafter, he instructed a witness to transport him, his wife, and  their child away from the scene. He then hid his firearm in a nearby shelter.

During trial the accused pleaded not guilty to the offence. In mitigation, the defence submitted that the accused is a first time offender, he is a breadwinner. e has two minor children, he lost his employment, he has been in custody since 2020, and he may have been under the influence of alcohol when committing the offence.

25 YEARS IMPRISONMENT FOR EX COP OFFICIAL

In aggravation of the sentence, the state advocate Ronald Sithada submitted that the accused is not remorseful. He only admitted to have killed the deceased only during mitigation hoping for lesser sentence. The mother of the deceased lost her only child and daughter.

He further said that the community was hoping to get protection from him as a police officer. ut instead he killed one of their own.

The state advocate prayed for life sentence and argued that there are no substantial or compelling circumstances to deviate from the prescribed minimum sentence. 

The court has sentenced Lesiba Machabaphala to 25 years imprisonment for murder. Five years for attempted murder, two years for failure to lock away a firearm in a prescribed manner. One year for malicious damage to property, two years for endangering the life of others by shooting negligently and five years for defeating the ends of justice.

The court further ordered that sentences must run concurrently. 

ALSO READ: Court sentence Mozambican murderers to 104 years imprisonment

A 44-year-old Paramedic who had a protection order issued against her paramedic husband, was shot and killed by the same husband in Bochum, Limpopo on Sunday. The Husband thereafter turned the gun on himself.

Preliminary investigation conducted by the Police revealed that the woman, identified as Mokhapi Phalandwa, obtained a protection order against her husband Norman Phalandwa aged 55. The husband reportedly decided to move out of the house to stay in a rented room in the area.

It is alleged that the wife visited her husband at his rented room this morning at about 06:00. He allegedly took out a firearm and shot his wife and thereafter shot himself. 

HUSBAND KILLS HIMSELF AND HIS WIFE IN BOCHUM 

The Police were called and on arrival they found both bodies lying in the street with gunshot  wounds. 

The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe is again urging people in a relationship to seek advice. Assistance when experiencing domestic challenges and refrain from resorting to extreme violence that involves taking lives.

Police have opened cases of murder and inquest.

ALSO READ: MEC for transport awards the provincial best Taxi driver

The Police in Seshego have launched a manhunt for six suspects who, on Friday 24 February 2023, allegedly robbed two women. They proceeded to rape one of them and thereafter attacked motorists who stopped to rescue the victims. The suspects hacked one of them to death and seriously injured the other at Madiba Park outside Polokwane.

The two women aged 25 and 30 were reportedly walking home from the ATM at the filling station when they met about six unknown men at about 20:45.

ONE OF SIX SUSPECTS RAPE A YOUNG LADY IN MADIBA PARK

 The suspects robbed them of cellphones, money and a Jersey. One of the suspects grabbed the younger lady and pulled her into the nearby bushes and raped her.

The rape victim managed to free herself and ran to the road, calling for help. A vehicle with five occupants reportedly stopped next to her and she was busy explaining what had happened when the same suspects accosted them. They brutally hacked one of the men with a sharp object and he died at the scene. Another occupant was stabbed and seriously injured.

The Police were also alerted and on arrival at the scene they found the deceased with gaping wounds. An injured victim was taken to hospital.

MAN WHO WANTED TO HELP A RAPE VICTIM MURDERRED

The murdered victim was identified as Sydney Maphela of Monyoaneng village in Moletjie

Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has ordered that these ruthless criminals be hunted down and brought to book.

The suspects were reportedly speaking a foreign language believed to be Zimbabwean nationals. The Police are appealing to anyone with information about the suspects to contact the nearest Police station, crime stop number 0860010111 or they may send a message via MySAPSApp.

Cases of murder, attempted murder, rape and robbery were also opened and investigations are continuing.

ALSO READ: Six suspects arrested for mob justice in Lephalale  

Seven people were sadly killed in a motor vehicle accident at D1399 Loskop road next to Maranata Lodge, Sekhukhune District on Sunday afternoon.

The accident is suspected to have happened when a Volkswagen hatchback collided side-swipe with a Toyota Avanza. Both vehicles lost control, overturned, and caught fire. Seven people, including the drivers of the two vehicles, were burnt beyond recognition.

ONE SURVIVOR IN MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT

The only survivor of the accident was transported to a nearby health facility for treatment of serious injuries. Law enforcement officers at the scene cite reckless driving as a possible cause of the crash.

Sekhukhune District accident

MEC RADZILANI SEND CONDOLENCES

Limpopo MEC for Transport and Community Safety, Florence Radzilani has also sent condolences to the bereaved families.

“We are saddened by the news and send heartfelt sympathies to those who have lost their loved ones in this tragic incident. May they be granted the strength to get through this difficult time. We also pray for the speedy recovery of the surviving passenger.

“The loss of lives on our roads due to reckless behavior by some motorists is cause for concern. We urge all drivers to be mindful of their actions at all times, for all to arrive alive at their respective destinations”, said MEC Radzilani.

ALSO READ: MEC Nandi Ndalane involved in a motor vehicle accident 

The high court in Thohoyandou has sentenced  Mahlasela Dan Mkhabela (42) as well as Mozambican murderers Almando Fernando Mandlazi (39) and Santos Novela (39) to two life imprisonment plus 104 years imprisonment respectively.

They were convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery with aggravating circumstances, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, attempted murder, unlawful possession of firearm and ammunition, and illegal immigration.

The court heard that on 07 March 2017. The heavily armed men were driving in a minibus from Tembisa in Gauteng. They were heading to Makhuva Village in Giyani, Limpopo to rob the businesses owned by Ethiopian and Bangladeshi nationals.

The group of 13 men started to attack the shops in the early hours of the morning by opening a big hole in the walls of the shops and took groceries, money and cell phones, while assaulting the shop owners and threatening them with firearms.

POLICE TIP OFF ON MOZAMBICAN MURDERERS 

After robbing shops, the police officers received a tip-off about the shop that was robbed at Makhuva village and the description of the vehicle used.

 Police officers then went out to look for the motor vehicle, and along the way, police officers met the suspects and stopped them. The suspects started shooting at the police officers who retaliated, and one police officer and one suspect were killed.

Accused persons then fled the scene and ran to the bushes.  Community members joined police officers in search of the accused and managed to arrest Mkhabela. Novela and Mandlazi were arrested by police officers on their way to Polokwane.

The accused pleaded not guilty to 14 charges and the court found them guilty as charged. During the trial, Mkhabela testified that he was robbed of his taxi by one of the passengers whom he was driving from Tembisa to Giyani to attend a funeral. Whereas they were a mini-army which was heading to attack shops.

SERIOUS CRIMES COMMITTED BY THE PERPETRATORS 

In aggravation of sentence, Advocate Zwodangani Mabodi submitted that all accused persons committed a serious, heinous offences. A police officer was killed in the line of duty in a cold-blooded manner. He further prayed to the court that the accused persons disrespected the rule of law by attacking law enforcement officers. Therefore the court should sentence them to life imprisonment.

Judge Francis Kganyago remarked that the accused are asking the court for mercy to the court. But they never showed mercy to the police officers. The court agreed with the state that the accused deserve to be punished as they have previous convictions. One of them committed these crimes while he was still under parole. The accused were sentenced to two life terms and 104 years imprisonment.

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The suspected illegal mining kingpin, Cheng Liang Tom (48) appeared in the Northam Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, 23 February 2023. This is in connection with illegal mining activities in Northam area, Limpopo

It follows his arrest by the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation members in Northam on Wednesday, 22 February. 

ILLEGAL MINING KINGPIN ARRESTED 

On 3 August 2022, members of the Hawks arrested four suspected illegal miners. They were found in possession of chrome that was loaded in a truck without permit. The chrome was valued at R1.2 million.

Cheng Liang Tom getting arrested
Cheng Liang Tom getting arrested

CHENG LIANG TOM REMAINS IN CUSTODY 

A thorough investigation was conducted and it was revealed that the chrome was destined for China where Tom was a buyer.

A warrant of arrest against Tom who is a Chinese national was authorized and successfully executed. The accused was remanded in custody until 3 March for formal bail application.

ALSO READ: Mining equipment recovered at an Illegal mining

Two alleged corrupt police officers, Takalani Carlos Mokwena and Masiakwala Masilo David have appeared in Tiyani Magistrates’ Court, for a bail hearing on one count of corruption.

The two suspects’ police officers are attached to the Sekgosese police station in Limpopo. They allegedly demanded a bribe of R15 000 from a complainant under the pretence that there was a case that was opened against him by his girlfriend.

ALLEGED CORRUPT POLICE OFFICERS DEMAND BRIBE

The complainant gave them R10 000, and the suspects then further demanded the outstanding amount of R5000.

The complainant then reported the matter to the police. This led to suspects arrested in possession of R1000 after the trap was set.

During their bail application, the state opposed it, and it was denied.  The matter is adjourned to 24 March 2023, for further investigations, and the suspects will remain in custody.

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Limpopo Department of Economic Development and Tourism MEC Rodgers Monama intends to visit and monitor Spaza Shops/Tuck Shops around the Province. 

This is in collaboration with Limpopo local municipalities aimed at verifying documentation, ownership, products, operating hours, suppliers. Also many other areas which will assist our entrepreneurs in running lucrative businesses. 

CORE BUSINESSES IN RURAL AREAS AND TOWNSHIPS 

Monama admits that Spaza Shops are a core business within our township and rural setups. It is therefore crucial that they should be compliant with specific laws and regulations.

RODGERS MONAMA CONCERNED ABOUT LOSSES BY SPAZA SHOPS DURING COVID-19 

‘Our local Municipalities have during the past years effectively played a vital part in issuing licenses or permits in order to assist interested citizens on their entrepreneur endeavors.

Millions of Rands previously set aside by our government aimed at assisting Spaza Shops as part of Covid-19 Relief funds have not benefitted our spaza shops due to low number of applicants and non- compliant applications. This has since been a cause for concern hence the Department intents to unearth, assess and enforce the sector to abide to laws and regulations,” the Department said in a statement.

Monama is unbending on creating a healthy, fair trade and citizen centered township and rural business sector in line with the approved Limpopo Township and Rural Economy Strategy.

RELATED STORY: Rodgers Monama concerned on non-Compliance by licenced liquor restaurants