Crime: Goods stolen from premier, Buthelezi recovered

2008-07-10 00:00

POLICE this week made a breakthrough and arrested seven suspects linked to two high-profile housebreaking cases in the province.

On Monday, members of the SAPS Provincial House Robbery Task Team arrested two suspects, aged 28 and 29 years old, who are alleged to have been involved in breaking into the Durban North residence of Premier S’bu Ndebele in May this year.

The two suspects, arrested at Ntuzuma township outside Durban, were found in possession of a computer and an LCD television believed to have been among the items stolen during the housebreaking.

Provincial police spokeswoman Director Phindile Radebe said the suspects were only charged with possession of stolen property and not housebreaking.

The suspects made a brief appearance in the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court yesterday and were denied bail and are still being investigated for housebreaking.

“The investigation is still continuing to establish if they could be linked to the housebreaking. Police are also looking for two more people who might assist them with this investigation,” Radebe said.

Jeff Hassan, the spokesman for the Premier’s office, applauded the police on the arrests.

“We can now only hope that justice will now take its course,” Hassan said.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident, five men were arrested on Wednesday in connection with last month’s burglary at the Ulundi house of Inkatha Freedom Party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi.

Three of the five suspects were arrested in Ulundi and the remaining two were arrested in Mandeni, on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast.

During the arrests, some of the stolen items, which included linen, a television set and a hi-fi system, were recovered.

The suspects, aged between 20 and 30 years old, have been charged with housebreaking and are scheduled to appear in the Mahlabathini Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Buthelezi, who is currently away on an official visit to India, expressed relief on hearing of the arrests yesterday.

In a statement, Buthelezi said: “I am relieved to hear of the arrests and I hope that this sends a clear message to all criminals that crime does not pay”.

bmbanjwa@witness.co.za

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