As part of asserting the authority of the State, police in Mmabatho arrested seven suspects in the early hours of 8 November 2019, in Extension 39 and Majemantsho village for intimidation and extortion.
The suspects’ apprehension comes after an intensive investigation of incidents in which provincial government officials were allegedly intimidated between September and October 2019. According to information at police disposal, the suspects who claimed to be members of Mahikeng Business Forum, allegedly stopped contractors from doing their jobs and in some instances, intimidated government officials.
In one of the incidents on Tuesday 8 October 2019, a government official was in a meeting at the Department of Public Works when a group of people stormed into his office. They allegedly howled and complained that the department did not award them tenders. Furthermore, one of the suspects allegedly threatened to shoot the official before they left the office.
In another incident on Thursday 10 October 2019, the suspects again went to the Department of Public Works where they disrespectfully talked to the official about awarding of tenders. The official who was also threatened with death, was rescued by security officers.
The suspects, aged between 31 and 53, are expected to appear in the Mmabatho Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 11 November 2019.
The Provincial Commissioner of North West, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane commended the police for their tireless efforts in ensuring that the suspects are arrested. “We cannot allow a state of lawlessness including the latitude to harass and intimidate government officials. The police will not hesitate to deal harshly with individuals who commit acts of crime especially those who fail to show responsible citizenry by deliberately disrespecting the rule of law,” said the Provincial Commissioner.
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