Plot to assassinate senior KZN Hawks investigator uncovered

2015-04-24 15:59


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Durban - A plot to assassinate the deputy head of the Hawks in KwaZulu-Natal - at the helm of a high-profile taxi murder investigation in Newcastle - has been uncovered.

News24 has learnt that Brigadier Simon Madonsela, who was leading a team of detectives from the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) and the Taxi Violence Task team, has had a price placed on his head.  

Two police sources close to the investigation, who could not be named for fear of reprisal, said that information gathered by the investigation team indicated that R1.2m had been offered to Izinkabi [taxi hitmen] to kill Madonsela.

It is understood a senior officer within the taxi violence task team is under the spotlight for allegedly tipping off suspects in the investigation about their immanent arrest.

It is believed that several members of the hit squad have been identified after a meeting to plan the assassination was held at a hostel.

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane confirmed that a docket of conspiracy to commit murder had been registered. He said that no arrests had yet been made.

Multiple murder charges evaded

Madonsela and his team had been running an investigation into notorious taxi boss and former politician Elias “Sputla” Mpungose, and his alleged role in the murder of a Newcastle taxi boss in January.

Mpungose was arrested in Durban after he handed himself over to members of Madonsela’s team.

He has been charged with one count of murder and two counts of attempted murder and is currently out on bail.

He has, in the past, evaded multiple murder charges.

He was previously accused of the murder of rival Ulundi taxi boss Samson Mthethwa in Mahlabatini in 2012, but charges were withdrawn last year after the main witness linking him to the murder disappeared.

Rape victim murdered

In 2007, Mpungose was sentenced to life imprisonment for the rape of a 14-year-old girl, who was later murdered. In 2011 he was released when the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned the judgment against him.

Celukuphila Mlambo, the girl Mpungose was convicted of raping, never got the chance to testify against him.

She was gunned down in her home near Nongoma in northern KwaZulu-Natal, along with her mother, Bulawelani Myaka, and 13-year-old cousin Sipho Ndawonde, a week before she was due to take the stand.

The Vryheid high court heard during the 2007 how an AK47 was used in the killings, which occurred a week before Mpungose’s trial.

The court was told the Myaka family had turned down Mpungose’s offer of R10 000 or 10 cows to withdraw the rape complaint.

Mpungose was initially charged with three counts of murder in connection with the deaths, but due to a string of witness discrepancies, the murder charges were dropped.

Read more on:    hawks  |  durban  |  crime

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