Major breakthrough in Bela Bela farm attacks

SEKHUKHUNE – Two suspects arrested in connection with farm robberies in Bela Bela were denied bail when they appeared briefly before the Bela Bela Magistrates Court on Monday.

The two, 34 year-old Justice Mudau and 69 year-old William Bapela are facing charges of two counts of house robbery and were denied bail. They are set to appear before the court on 17 July 2019 for formal bail application.

According to police an intelligence-led-joint operation which has been working around the clock, following up on leads relating to farm attack incidents in the area, resulted in the arrest of the two suspects on Friday.

Constable Maphure Manamela, Limpopo Provincial Police Spokesperson, said the well coordinated operation, comprising members of the detectives from Bela Bela area and Mokopane crime intelligence unit, followed up on the tracks of the criminals until they cornered them at their different homes around Bela Bela after they were positively linked to two house robbery incidents committed this year at farms around the Radium area.

Manamela said police recovered items including cellphones, clothes, and perfumes believed to be the ones robbed during the attack incidents.

“On Wednesday, 06 July 2019 at about 21:30, four suspects armed with firearms, allegedly attacked residents at a farm house, tied them up with robes and robbed them of several items including jewellery, cellphones, car keys, perfumes and a laptop,” informed Manamela.

Manamela said the following month in the early hours of one morning, the same suspects forced entry inside different houses at another farm, threatened the owners with firearms and robbed them cellphones, cash and clothes.

“The suspects may be linked to other incidents of farm attacks in this area and surroundings. Police investigations are still ongoing and more arrests are eminent,” said Manamela.

Anyone with information that can lead to the apprehension of the other suspects is requested to contact Lieutenant Colonel Phetla on 082 414 2404, the crime stop number at 08600 10111 or the nearest police station.

The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service (Saps) in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba, applauded the team for their diligent investigation and relentless pursuit of the suspects.

Thapelo Motseo

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