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Provincial Commissioner welcomes hefty sentences handed down against the so-called “Boko Haram” criminals

POLOKWANE - The Provincial Commissioner of Police in Limpopo Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has welcomed the individual hefty sentences handed down in Polokwane yesterday against three accused convicted for a series of serious crimes that were committed during September and October 2017.

Ndou Lukase Rembuluwani (29), Ndou Ben (29) and Khoza Ngobeni Small (28) were sentenced to a combined period of 384 years imprisonment by the Limpopo Division of the High Court in Polokwane after they were convicted on a total of 25 cases that were committed in Seshego and Westenburg policing areas in which residents were tormented by their reign of terror that lasted for two months.

The trio was amongst the group of criminals who were calling themselves “Boko Haram,” terrorising communities around the said areas by committing serious crimes that included murder, attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition, house breaking with intention to rob, robbery with aggravating circumstances, malicious damage to property, theft and house robberies. They were also convicted for contravening Immigration laws for being in the country illegally.

Some of their victims included the players of Magezi Football Club who were robbed of their cellphones, soccer kit, shoes and clothes at gun point during a house robbery that they committed in the early hours of Wednesday, 18 October 2017, in their club house.

On 09 October 2017, at around 02:00 the accused armed with firearms robbed teachers at their residential house in Plot 27 Jansen Park under Westenburg policing area. During the incident, shots were fired but no injuries were sustained. Items including laptops, television sets and cell phones were robbed.

A week later on Thursday 19 October 2017 at about 23:30, a group of four suspects entered the victims' premises at one of the local Plots and surrounded the house. They were all armed with firearms. The victim noticed the suspects on CCTV and alerted his wife and kids to hide and notified the police. The victim fired a warning shot and the suspects also fired shots randomly at house. Apparently, one of the suspects was gunned down and the other three fled, leaving him behind.

The reported cases were assigned to Detective Sergeant Tlou Johannes Chokoe of Westenburg Detective Unit who immediately commenced with investigations.

On Friday, 20 October 2017 at around 10:00 in the morning, the investigating officer received a tip-off from the hospital, a day after the shooting incident at the Plot where one of the suspects was fatally wounded. According to information, the suspects sent their girlfriends to go to the hospital and check if their accomplice was brought-in. The Police immediately activated a snap operation consisting of Detectives and Public Order Policing. On arrival, they found the suspects' girlfriends whom led the police to Seshego where the suspects were hiding.

The three suspects were then arrested and police recovered some of the stolen properties including firearms and ammunition. They were then linked to more cases.

The Court ultimately sentenced the three accused to effective one hundred and twenty eight (128) years imprisonment each and also declared them unfit to possess a firearm.

"We are contented with the long jail sentences that were handed down by the High Court against these heartless thugs whom were terrorising communities in the said areas. The investigating skills of the Detective and team that assisted him are highly appreciated and commendable" concluded Lieutenant General Hadebe.

Source: South African Police Service

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