Gauteng Premier Panyaza Lesufi, on Wednesday, 26 April 2023, met with Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha to discuss the construction of Limpopo-to-Gauteng railway. The discussions are aimed at linking the two provinces through a new, faster, and more efficient rail network.

The meeting follows the commitment made by Premier Lesufi in his maiden State of the Province Address in February, to start the process of linking the two provinces.

LIMPOPO-TO-GAUTENG RAILWAY TO KICKSTART

“Once fully operational, the Limpopo-to-Gauteng rail link will alleviate the traffic congestion between the two provinces. Especially during Easter and Festive holidays. The project will also stimulate economic growth,” said Premier Lesufi.

Gauteng and Limpopo Premier’s meet over Limpopo-to-Gauteng railway
Gauteng and Limpopo Premier’s meet over Limpopo-to-Gauteng railway

The rail network will transport commodities for regional and domestic markets as well as people. A joint technical team comprising senior officials from the two provincial governments, and the Gautrain Management Agency will meet regularly to discuss the modalities of the project. Financial institutions have already shown interest in funding the project.

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“I wish to thank the Premier of Gauteng for this initiative. As Limpopo, we have been trying to implement this project since 2014 and unfortunately, we were met with financial challenges. I think with the kind of enthusiasm that the Premier is bringing into the project. Finally, it will kick off the ground”, said Premier Mathabatha.

UPDATE – There has been heavy traffic reported on Easter Monday in Limpopo including the N1 as motorists return back to their respective provinces.

This includes the highway heading to Gauteng, R101, R71, R81, the R579 from Lebowakgomo to Apel cross. D4100 from Apelcross to Groblersdal and Marblehall.

Heavy traffic on Easter Monday on Limpopo roads Including N1
N1 Limpopo

Also read: UPDATE: Limpopo Easter Monday traffic update

Gates at the Nyl and Kranskop Toll Plaza have been opened several times today to clear southbound congestion on the N1.

Impatient drivers are warned against driving on the yellow lane and/or facing oncoming traffic.

MOTORISTS ADVICED TO KEEP DISTANCE ON N1

Especially at tollgates, as this might cause accidents that will congest traffic further. They have also been cautioned to maintain a safe following distance at all times.

Dial 0800 006 694 to report traffic emergencies in Limpopo

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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Suspects have been arrested after a truck loaded with groceries was hijacked on the N1 near Pienaarsrivier on Thursday night. 

The two suspects are believed to be part of a gang involved in truck hijacking syndicate operating in multiple provinces.

GROCERY TRUCK HIJACKED IN LIMPOPO 

Their arrest groceries and traveling from Bela Bela towards the Gauteng province. It was forced to stop by suspects driving in a white Toyota Corolla before it could get on the N1 freeway north bound.

Two male suspects came out of the motor vehicle and forcibly removed the driver from the truck at gun point and into their own vehicle.

One of the suspects got into the truck which was then driven towards the N1 freeway south bound. It was escorted by his accomplices using a silver Ford Ranger and Toyota Corolla.

Truck Hijacked in Bela Bela
Truck Hijacked in Bela Bela

The local police were alerted about the incident and immediately called for backup.

They were also joined by members from Bela-Bela and Hammanskraal SAPS.

The hijacked truck was spotted near the Carousel Tollgate. When the police approached it, the occupants of the Ford Ranger started to shoot at the police. The Police retaliated forcing the Ford Ranger to a standstill under a hail of bullets.

The two suspects from the Ford Ranger were arrested and the third suspect who was driving the truck managed to escape after he ran into the nearby bushes on foot.

The suspects who were driving the other vehicle with the truck driver inside also managed to evade the arrest.

The driver was later dropped off around Tembisa in Gauteng province. 

The two arrested suspects aged 33 and 57 will soon appear in court facing charges ranging from attempted hijacking, malicious damage to property, attempted murder to possession of suspected stolen properties 

Manhunt for the remaining suspects continues 

A 52-year-old Police Captain has been arrested for her alleged involvement in corruption on 10 December 2022 in Bela-Bela.

It is alleged that the Police Captain who is attached to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI) at Pretoria Central, Gauteng Province, had on Saturday 10 December 2022 approached the complainant.

 Police Captain has been arrested for her alleged involvement in corruption
Police Crime

She informed him that there were fraudulent activities happening in his bank account and therefore she is going to freeze his bank accounts. The Police then demanded a gratification of R250 000 in exchange for this not to happen. 

POLICE CAPTAIN REPORTED 

The matter was reported to the Police who then commenced with investigation.

A sting operation was conducted at Bela Bela. The alleged suspect was arrested after receiving the money from the complainant.

Members of the SAPS Highway Patrol Unit in Limpopo arrested a 37-year-old suspect for alleged possession of an unlicensed firearm.

The other suspect aged 27 was arrested for dealing with live ammunition and dealing in drugs. Both suspects were arrested on Saturday 3 December 2022 at different locations.

In the first incident, the members received information about a man terrorizing the community of Senwabarwana with a firearm. When following it up, a blue Volkswagen Polo with three occupants was intercepted at a Filling Station in Senwabarwana.

UNLICENSED FIREARM SUSPECT

The passenger occupying the front seat was found in possession of a firearm with one magazine containing two live rounds of ammunition and one projectile as well as one SAPS pepper spray. Upon investigation a firearm was found to be stolen from Gauteng in Norkempark.

Man arrested for unlicensed firearm
Man arrested for unlicensed firearm

In a separate incident the members responded to a complaint of a fighting war in Polokwane taxi rank. Upon arrival during the search processes a 27-year-old male suspect was found dealing in drugs.

Seventy sachets of Nyaope and large amounts of money were confiscated for exhibit purposes.

CRIME PREVENTION OPERATION

During the crime prevention operations multiple activities were performed by the Limpopo Highway Patrol Unit, forty-three persons, twenty-nine motor vehicles were searched and thirty-two Shopping Complex, fifty-seven ATMs and forty-two filling stations were visited and forty-three motor vehicles stopped, searched and tested.

The suspects are expected to appear before Senwabarwana and Polokwane Magistrate’s courts on Monday 05 December 2022. They face charges of possession of an unlicensed firearm and live ammunition as well as the dealing in drugs.

A convoy transporting Deputy President, David Mabuza has been involved in a car accident resulting in the death of one of his bodyguards in Mpumalanga.

NO CLARITY ON DP DAVID MABUZA

It is uncertain at the moment whether Mabuza was present at the time of the accident. The vehicle the bodyguards were traveling in experienced a burst tyre, causing the car to roll over.

This is also the second time the Deputy President’s motorcade has been involved in an accident. In July two of the vehicles in the motorcade collided in Midrand. However Mabuza was not in either of the vehicles.

POLICE STATEMENT ON DEATH OF BODYGUARD

In a statement, the National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola has also sent his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased member. He also wished the injured members a speedy recovery.

David-Mabuza-Bodyguard
David-Mabuza-Bodyguard

“The SAPS confirms that at about 10:30 on Sunday, 20 November 2022. The deputy president’s motorcade was travelling between Mpumalanga and Gauteng when one of the back-up vehicles’ tyres burst, causing the vehicle to roll over,” the statement read.

“The management of the SAPS are saddened by the death of one of its members.”

A case of culpable homicide has also been registered at the Middleburg Police Station.

One person is R3.2 million richer after winning Saturday’s Lotto jackpot, according to Ithuba National Lottery, the person won R3 219 596.30. in the October 29 draw.

Ithuba said when players play via a banking app, they are first contacted by their bank to notify them of their winnings.

“Players are then encouraged to proceed to their nearest Ithuba regional office to process their winnings,” it said.

TAXI FREE

“The winner will receive their winnings tax free in 48 to 72 hours. A team of financial advisors are on standby to offer advice on a series of portfolio investment opportunities. The player will also be offered trauma counselling from a team of psychologists.”

Ithuba said they were still searching for the winner of the R11m Lotto Plus 2 jackpot.

The ticket from the October 26 draw was purchased in Boksburg, Gauteng.

Ithuba CEO Charmaine Mabuza encouraged the player to come forward and claim their prize.

Last week a Witbank businessman won R28m in the Lotto Plus jackpot (October 19 draw). He played via the First National Bank (FNB) banking app. The player said he planned to donate part of his winnings to his church. He also wanted to finish building his family home and buy a truck for his business. He said he had no plans to stop working.

LOTTO JACKPOT WINNER

Meanwhile, someone from Boksburg in Gauteng is holding a Lotto jackpot ticket worth R11.4 million.

According to national lottery operator the Ithuba winner bagged R11 471 571.70 in the Lotto Plus 2 draw on Wednesday. Ithuba encouraged players to check their tickets.

“The winner is encouraged to come through to our Ithuba offices to process his or her winnings,” said Ithuba CEO Charmaine Mabuza.

Meanwhile, the Powerball jackpots for Friday night’s draw was a guaranteed R127m, according to Ithuba.

This week a Witbank businessman claimed his R28.2m Lotto Plus jackpot.

The businessman won via the FNB banking app.

He said he didn’t realise he won the Lotto jackpot until he went into Ithuba offices.