Cops nab etv thug

2010-01-21 15:59

ONE of the masked criminals who announced his intention to rob and

kill during the 2010 Fifa World Cup on eNews last Friday, was arrested by the

police in the early hours of this morning.

The announcement was made by police minister Nathi Mthethwa at a

National Press Club media briefing in Pretoria later in the day.

The minister, flanked by his deputy, Fikile Mbalula, national

police commissioner Bheki Cele and Hawks chief Anwa Dramat, told journalists

that the man was arrested in Tshepisong near Kagiso in Gauteng.

The police’s top brass was clearly elated by the arrest of the man

whose face was hidden by a stocking as he bragged about his criminal intentions

on a national TV broadcast.

“When these threats were flighted last Friday we promised South

Africans that we will do everything in our power to ensure that these criminals’

selfish desires do not prosper,” Mthethwa said. “Today, six days later, we kept

our word.”

The suspect will be taken to court in the next 48 hours where he

will be charged with intimidation and incitement to violence, said Dramat.

“Other charges might emerge,” Dramat added. The arrested criminal

was out on parole after serving a fifteen year sentence for armed robbery. He

had an outstanding warrant for arrest against his name.

Dramat confirmed that the arrested man was the one who loaded his

gun during the taping of the programme. Policemen were tracking his partner

whose identity was known to them.

Referring to the arrested man as a “second-hand 007”, Cele accused

etv of glorifying the criminals, turning them “into heroes on TV.”

Cele told journalists that etv had interviewed him and Mthethwa

with regard to the threats made by the criminals but neglected to broadcast

their comments because “we were too emotional”.

Mthethwa said he was still applying his mind with regard to the

subpoenas police served on eNews news editor Ben Said and reporter Mpho Lakaje

earlier this week in a bid to force them to reveal the identity of the two

criminals.

Replying to a question he said it was not clear how the arrest of

the criminals would affect the police action against etv.

In terms of the subpoenas, Said and Lakaje will have to appear in

court next week unless they hand over unedited footage, the names and contact

details of the criminals as well as information about the firearms shown in the

programme.

Dramat confirmed that Lucky Phungula, the man who killed himself in

Soweto earlier this week after the police subpoena was served on etv, was not

one of the men on the programme.

eTV said on Tuesday that Phungala was an underworld connection who

set up the interviews.

It was an unnecessary death, Mthethwa said, because the police

asked etv for the criminals, not the man who set up the interview.

The ownership of the gun that was displayed in the footage,

Mthethwa said, “remained a mystery but police investigations are at an advanced

stage”.




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