Two suspects, Leetoane Edwin Mamasiane (35), originally from Lesotho and Thubalakhe Sizwe Buthelezi (30), a South African, were apprehended and have already appeared before the Emalahleni Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 01 November 2023 after being reportedly found in possession of three unlicensed firearms with ammunition on the N12 freeway next to Phola, Ogies on Monday, 30 November 2023 at about 21:30.
Members of the Middelburg Flying Squad were patrolling along the N12 Road as part of Operation Shanela when they spotted a suspicious looking Toyota Corolla with Gauteng registration number plates. The vehicle with two occupants was stopped and searched.
The occupants were reportedly found with two handguns and the serial numbers of both firearms were filed off. One of the handguns was loaded with ammunition while a plastic bag containing other live ammunition for a 9 mm pistol was also found.
The suspects were arrested on the spot as they have failed to produce a firearm licence nor a permit thereof. Police continued to search the vehicle, which resulted in the discovery of a third shotgun with live ammunition at the back seat.
In the early hours of Tuesday, 31 October 2023 Flying Squad members proceeded with Operation Shanela and it is reported that they spotted a Toyota Hilux bakkie on the N4 Road near Samora Machel turn off. It is further said that the astute members stopped the said vehicle which was occupied by eight people. It was during this time when they discovered copper cables valued at about R150 000 inside the bakkie. All eight suspects were then arrested for possession of suspected stolen copper cables.
They appeared before the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, 01 November 2023 and they have been identified as Njabulo Ndlovu (24), Alex Philip Bolosha (32), Sbongiseni Zikhali (26), Xolani Vincent Makhoba (35), Leno Buns (26), Mandla Atwell Mguni (41), Sipho Justice Shabangu (41), and Nkosana Alex Malgas (40). The matter was postponed to 08 November 2023 meanwhile the suspects remained in custody.
The Police will continue to be on high alert and through Operation Shanela, more successes are achieved and the aim is to reinforce the authority of the state, thereby ensuring that everyone is safe ahead, during and beyond the festive season.