Top cop requests ANC leader's murder case be moved from his station

2016-06-07 06:30


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Mbombela - The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, or the Hawks, has taken over the investigation of the murder of an ANC leader who was gunned down in Mpumalanga.

This comes after a police station commander made a request for the case to be removed from his police station.

"Members of the Hawks are investigating the case of murder whereby an ANC member, Michael Phelembe, 32, was shot outside his residential place at Daantjie Trust in Pienaar on [May 27]... No suspects have been arrested and investigation continues," said Provincial Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Dineo Sekgotodi on Monday.

Sekgotodi released a media statement following inquiries from a News24 correspondent on the matter.

MEC for community safety, security and liaison, Vusi Shongwe, visited the slain ANC member's family on Friday.

Shongwe hinted there that the decision to remove the case from Pienaar police station was to clear suspicions that the police from the station are implicated in the matter.

“As you [the police station commander] had briefed me that you have transferred the case from Pienaar police station because, it is suspected that there may be some of the police who are implicated in the case. For us to clear the names of the police, it means we have to crack this case, so that the person responsible for the evil deed can be exposed,” said Shongwe.

Phelembe was shot dead by unknown assailants outside his parents' home while returning from a night vigil in Pienaar township.

Last week, the deceased’s family had requested Shongwe’s intervention to ensure that the perpetrators are apprehended.

Shongwe responded by visiting the family, accompanied by church leaders who were led by ANC provincial chaplain, and leader of Mpumalanga’s Moral Regeneration Movement, Rev Micah Nthali, and Pienaar police station commander, Colonel Patrick Mogane.

Shongwe warned against anyone formulating his or her own theories about the killing. He said this could easily divert the police investigation.

“Those theories end up delaying the police investigations because the police end up hurtling helter-skelter. We must leave the police to do their investigation without distractions. They are trained to do this work,” he said.

Shongwe said Mpumalanga was a peaceful province, yet from time to time there are those cases that attract attention and publicity.

“I want to thank the station commander of the Pienaar police station who, when the murder occurred, said that he asks that the (Pienaar) police station be not involved in the investigation. He told me the reasons why the station should not be involved in the investigation.

"This case is a high profile case. I’m not saying other cases are less important, but the manner in which this one has happened, it means we have to double our efforts that we eventually crack this case,” Shongwe said.

Read more on:    anc  |  hawks  |  mbombela  |  crime

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