Cop on hijack rap

2010-11-04 00:00

THE Pietermaritzburg Hawks have arrested a police constable in connection with the heist of a truck carrying a load of Unilever cosmetic products.

The truck was hijacked by three armed men in Pope Ellis Drive, Ashburton, on the evening of August 30.

The hijackers were driving a double-cab vehicle with the flashing blue lights of the police.

Constable Sizwe Ndlovu of the tracing unit at Alexandra police station was arrested on Tuesday.

The truck driver, Simlindile Lawana, was allegedly assaulted by the men who then left him on the roadside.

He reported the matter to the police and the truck was traced via a tracking system.

Investigating officer Captain Jageesh Devnarain Singh said the dog unit was called in and the truck was recovered in the Mpophomeni area.

He said police descended on a house in the area and found the loot hidden in the kraal of Nkosenhle Ndlovu, who ran away as police arrived.

Singh said of the hijacking,“The truck driver complied when he was flagged down as he thought it was police doing a routine check, unaware that he was being hijacked.

“The stolen goods were recovered in the homestead, but the owner fled when the police arrived.”

Singh said that two days later Ndlovu and Phumlani Dlungwana handed themselves to the police and have since been granted bail of R10 000 and R7 000 respectively.

A firearm believed to have been used in the crime was found buried in Ndlovu’s back yard.

A day after the truck was recovered Ndlovu allegedly bragged to his colleagues at the police station that his actions had led to the recovery of the truck and the stolen goods.

Singh said the case was handed over to the Pietermaritzburg Hawks after people from the Mpophomeni area came forward with information that an Alexandra police station vehicle had been involved in the crime.

“We requested records of the trucks’ tracker system and records of the double cabs at the Alexandra police station.

“On close inspection, records from one double cab stood out as they corresponded with the records of the truck. The time, place and day all corresponded. We then checked the log-book and discovered that Constable Ndlovu had signed for the vehicle on this particular day,” explained Singh.

Having gathered their evidence, Singh and Warrant Officer Nelson Naicker arrested the constable on charges of armed robbery.

Singh said a charge of defeating the ends of justice will be added.

The constable made his first court appearance yesterday, but the case was postponed until today as his lawyer was not present.

He was remanded in custody.

Singh said they will oppose bail.

A Unilever official who asked not to be named confirmed the hijacking, but said the truck did not belong to the company.

“It is owned by a company sub-contracted by one of Unilever’s service providers that handle our transport operations,” said the official.

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