Thabang Vincent Shakwane (25) and Walter Sakhele Ngwenya (31) were remanded in custody by the Nelspruit Magistrate court on Monday, 28 March 2022 after they were arrested by the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation based in Nelspruit together with Provincial Detectives and Crime Intelligence for attempted murder of police officials.
It is alleged that on Wednesday, 23 March 2022, two police officers were busy patrolling near Ilanga Mall in Nelspruit when they noticed a suspicious red VW Polo with three occupants. The vehicle was pulled over, during the search the occupants attempted to disrupt the officers by offering money which they refused.
As the members were busy effecting the arrest, one of the suspects reportedly fired a shot towards one member but missed. Whilst the said member was on the ground, the suspects reportedly assaulted him and robbed him of his 9mm service pistol and a cellphone. The second officer was also attacked and his service pistol robbed before they fled the scene.
On Saturday, 26 March 2022 at about 20:00 information was received by the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Provincial Detectives and Crime Intelligence of the whereabouts of one of the suspects Thabang Vincent Shakwane who was positively linked with the case. The vehicle that was used during the attack on the SAPS officials was also seized.
On Sunday, 27 March 2022 at about 22:45 information of the whereabouts of the second suspect Walter Sakhele Ngwenya was received and operationalized.
The team swiftly arrested Ngwenya and he was also linked to another shooting incident at White River, Msholozi, where he allegedly shot another male victim who retaliated resulting in Ngwenya being injured.
The suspect was charged with attempted murder for White River and Nelspruit incidents. During the arrest, the suspect was found in possession of a 9mm Z88 pistol with the serial number filed off.
Thabang Vincent Shakwane appeared at the Nelspruit Magistrate Court on Monday, 28 March 2022 while Walter Sakhele Ngwenya’s hearing was done in absentia. The case was postponed to 5 April 2022 for him to acquire legal representation.