Nelspruit police praised for uncovering explosives cache
Written by Thabisile Khoza
Tuesday, 02 September 2008 03:45
Nelspruit - Police in Nelspruit have been praised for the recent arrest of a gang allegedly in possession of enough explosives to blow up at least a thousand ATM's.
Mpumalanga Safety and Security MEC Siphosezwe Masango on Monday personally congratulated the police officers who raided a house in Barberton, which was apparently being used as a criminal hideout.
"We commend our police for the job well done. This proves that the partnership between the police and the community is achieving its main purpose of fighting crime," Mr Masango said.
The raid took place at an informal settlement near the Sheba Mine in Barberton on 26 August, after police received a tip-off from the local community.
Four suspects were arrested when police found 500 explosives, 500 dynamite sticks, R80 000 worth of gold dust, a Tokarev automatic pistol and an Uzi submachine gun, said spokesperson for the Mpumalanga Organised Crime Unit, Captain Leonard Hlathi.
Elijah Muzi Mhlongo, 19, Peter Shivhambo, 23, Duiker Skhumbuzo Masinga, 24, and Matthews Louis Maraka, 37, were not asked to plead when they appeared before the Barberton Magistrate's Court on Thursday.
They will appear again on Thursday when they are expected to make a formal bail application.
"The community is playing a crucial role in fighting crime. As police cannot be on each and every corner, street or in every neighbourhood, they mostly depend on the community to report any suspicious criminal activities," said Mr Masango.
He urged communities across Mpumalanga to take part in what he calls "self-policing."
His department is involved in a number of initiatives to create crime prevention partnerships with communities.
Mr Masango, who was visiting police stations in the province, is due to meet communities in Bushbuckridge, Mkhuhlu and Standerton to discuss ways in which they can help police fight crime.
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