POTCHEFSTROOM – Four house robbery suspects were on Monday, 19 October 2020, apprehended and stolen property recovered through assistance of farmers and members of the community.
Tshepo Mabankwe (18), France Motsaathebe (32) and Boitumelo Martin Motswamere (27) were arrested in Wolmaransstad and appeared before the Schweizer-Reneke Magistrates’ Court today for house robbery. They will remain in custody until their second court appearance on Monday, 26 October 2020. A 15-year-old accused was processed and appeared before the court in accordance with the Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act No. 75 of 2008) and released in the care of his parents.
It is alleged that a 41-year-old farm caretaker was alone on the farm situated between Schweizer-Reneke and Wolmaransstad when eight suspects overpowered him and tied him inside a container. The suspects then loaded furniture and tools worth R100 000.00 onto a trailer after filling it up with diesel and drove off from the farm. The incident occurred between Sunday evening, 18 and the early hours of Monday morning, 19 October 2020.
After managing to free himself, the caretaker sought assistance from the neighbours who informed the police and neighbouring farmers. Consequently, the tractor and trailer with loaded property were spotted by farmers. The suspects then abandoned the tractor next to the road and fled. Later the same day, members of the community in Wolmaransstad assisted in tracing three of the suspects including the minor and handed them over to the police. Further investigations led to the arrest of the fourth suspect in Wolmaransstad.
The District Commissioner of Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Major General Suzette Pretorius, thanked members of the community for the role in ensuring that the accused are arrested. She emphasised the significance of participation of the public in the fight against crime and that the police will continue to work hard to ensure that perpetrators are brought to book.