Bomb squad officers charged with ‘withholding cash’ evidence

Three bomb squad police investigators have been granted R3,000 each following their arrest by members of the Hawks after they allegedly failed to hand over evidence.

Hawks spokesperson Col Katlego Mogale confirmed the matter. He said Capt Lephalala, 47, Warrant Ngwenya (33) and Sergeant Sithole (37) of the Explosives Section operating from Colbyn, eastern Pretoria, were granted R3,000 bail each. This follows their arrest by the members of the Serious Corruption Investigation on Thursday. They were arrested on charges of theft and defeating the ends of justice.

Mogale said the matter is related to a bombing incident that occurred on April 15 2024 at a filing station in Soshanguve.

Caught on CCTV collecting money at crime scene

According to Mogale, the three suspects were allegedly seen on CCTV surveillance footage purportedly putting notes and coins into a bag.

“One of the suspects was seen taking the bag to their state vehicle before they left the scene. Investigations revealed that the money from the bag was never handed in as evidence at the SAP 13,” said Mogale.

Mogale said the three suspects are expected to make their next court appearance on August 7 2024. This will be at the Pretoria North magistrate’s court.

Meanwhile, on Friday police minister Bheki Cele and national police commissioner Gen Fannie Masemola will hand over in excess of 130 vehicles to the criminal record centre units. The units are responsible for linking suspects to crime scenes through evidence collection and analysis.

More vehicles to assist crime scene investigations

The hand over ceremony will take place on Friday at the Tshwane Academy Rugby Field in Pretoria, from 10am.

Cele’s spokesperson Lirandzu Themba confirmed the hand over. She said this initiative will be a major boost for the country’s detective and forensic units within the SAPS.

“The country’s detective and forensic units in the [SAPS] are set to receive a boost. With the injection of additional vehicles [will] enhance and improve the response time to crime scenes by crime scene experts. This …is amongst the many other functions,” said Themba.

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