An ongoing collaborative effort to combat the high crime rates and gang activity in Imbali has yielded another success with the arrest of a suspect on Saturday night.
The individual is implicated in several murders and business robberies across the city.
Plessislaer Police Station, the Pietermaritzburg SAPS project team and private security firm, Aphiwe Protection Services have been working around the clock to apprehend several suspects associated with multiple armed robberies and murders throughout the city.
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Acting on information supplied by the investigative team, the K9 Unit intercepted a silver Suzuki station wagon on FJ Sithole Road near Imbali.
One occupant of the vehicle who was already wanted in connection with several cases, was apprehended.
He was found in possession of an unlicensed 9 mm pistol with the serial number filed off.
He was subsequently questioned and positively identified in relation to three serious crimes: residential robbery and attempted murder; business robbery and murder; and, another case of robbery and murder.
He was taken to Northdale Hospital for a medical examination before appearing before a local magistrate at 9 pm to have his confession recorded.
The man is due in court on Monday.
Saturday’s arrest marks the latest development in a continual crackdown on criminals who have been instilling fear in the community.
For several years in a row, the Plessislaer policing area has been among the top three national crime hotspots.
Specifically, Plessislaer Police Station has been ranked first in the country and in the province for home robberies, registering a 78% increase compared to the same period in 2022.
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Just a week earlier, the same investigative team arrested one of Pietermaritzburg’s most wanted criminals, a 22-year-old man linked to a massacre at a birthday celebration in Imbali last year.
Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Sifiso Gwala said the man was connected to the murder of four people at the Khumalo homestead in the Maqaleni area last October.
October’s murders marked the second tragedy for the Khumalo family, following an incident nine months before in which their 17-year-old son and his friend were shot dead.
Shortly afterwards, Zodwa (57) and her husband Mandla Khumalo (58) were also killed at their homestead. Investigations are under way to determine whether the suspects from both of last week’s arrests are connected.
Khanyisani Radebe, director of Aphiwe Protection Services, commended the efforts of the police, community members, and his security team.
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The community has been living under a reign of terror, but together with the police, we are turning the tide on criminals. Our communities deserve peace and safety.
Involved in Saturday’s successful operation were Detective Constable Lucky Gwala from Plessislaer Police Station, Lieutenant Colonel Vilakazi and Sergeant Fanie Gumede from the Pietermaritzburg SAPS Project Team, as well as Sergeant Thembinkosi Dlamini from the uMgungundlovu District cluster.