Police raided a home in Mamelodi, searching for 15 computers stolen from the Office of the Chief Justice, acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane has told journalists.
They didn’t find those computers but instead discovered allegedly illegal guns, ammunition and fake identity documents.
They arrested Given Msimango, Bigboy Yose, and a third suspect, against whom charges have now been dropped.
Police say the arrests will assist their investigation.
“Further interviewing of those who were arrested revealed the identity of a person with critical information required to resolve the crime and the recovery of the stolen IT equipment. The South African Police Service is calling upon Nkosinathi Msimango, who was in the vicinity of Mamelodi on the day of the arrests and who has valuable information and insight into the commission of this crime to approach the investigating officer and/or report at the nearest police station to assist in this case,” Phahlane told journalists at a media briefing in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Phahlane is adamant that Msimango is not a suspect.
“If you arrive at that conclusion, it’s your conclusion, not ours,” he said.
However, Msimango’s brother, Given, now faces charges for the illegal possession of guns and ammunition. (eNCA)
Adv Glynnis Breytenbach MP – DA Shadow Minister
of Justice and Constitutional Development
The DA is stunned and angered that all meetings of the Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, especially the one scheduled for tomorrow, when the Office of the Chief Justice was scheduled to appear, have been cancelled at the last minute.
It seems that some on the Justice Committee would prefer to stick their heads in the sand rather than urgently discuss the deeply troubling break-in at the office of the Chief Justice, which can only be viewed as an attack on the Judiciary.
This is simply unacceptable and the DA will write to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, Dr Mathole Motshekga, to again request that when the committee next sits, the Ministers of Police, State Security and Justice urgently appear to account for the robbery.
The DA notes the arrests following the break-in at the Office of the Chief Justice announced this morning.
The burglary is highly suspicious, and can only be viewed as an act of intimidation and political criminality.
It is imperative for the computers to be recovered, the alleged “kingpin” arrested and the motive behind the burglary established. The men arrested were clearly acting on instructions from higher up and the crime intelligence division of SAPS need to efficiently and effectively get to the bottom of who is behind this attack on the judiciary.
The National Police Commissioner, Khomotso Phahlane, this morning announced that 3 suspects have been arrested in connection with the burglary at the Office of the Chief Justice on Saturday where 15 computers containing personal information of South Africa’s 250 judges were stolen.
Phahlane further announced that false identification documents, unlicensed firearms and what is believed to be the getaway vehicle have been seized.
However, there are some troubling aspects of the “arrest” process that need to be further examined.
The DA believes that an act of intimidation in these circumstances is an attack on the very foundations of our democracy.
We will continue to push for Parliament to exercise its oversight function and for the Committee on Justice to summon the will to deal decisively with this brazen attack.
Bridget Masango MP – DA Shadow Minister of Social Development
The DA will today write to the Acting National Police Commissioner, Khomotso Phahlane, to request that he launches a full investigation into the break-in at the former Director General of the Department of Social Development, Zane Dangor’s home, as well as two other suspicious acts of intimidation that have occurred in recent days.
On Monday, Dangor’s home was approached by two vehicles, and the men in these vehicles broke into his home and attacked his son. However, nothing was stolen and the police have therefore claimed that they could not investigate the incident.
Reports have also stated that the home of the CEO of SASSA, Thokozani Magwaza, was targeted by the same vehicles and the men approached his wife, however, they failed to break-in.
In the same week, the Office of the Chief Justice was also broken into and the assailants fled with 15 computers containing the personal information of judges and the personnel of the Department of Justice.
These three incidents are highly irregular, the timing is equally suspicious and seems to point to an orchestrated attempt of intimidation against the actors that are involved in the SASSA debacle.
The DA has already written to the Public Protector to request an investigation into the relationship between Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, and Cash Paymaster Services, as it is our belief that Dlamini manufactured this social grants crisis, risking the livelihoods of 17 million South Africans, to ensure CPS would continue to distribute grants.
Phahlane must investigate these cases of intimidation in order to establish if there is indeed a link between them, the motivations behind them, and who is responsible.
We cannot allow for those who are responsible for these incidents to get off scot-free, especially when the safety of innocent people are threatened.