Top police commander murdered

2013-06-19 00:00

A PROVINCIAL task team has been set up to investigate the murder of a police cluster commander in Johannesburg, Major-General Tirhani Simon Maswanganyi (51).

The announcement was made yesterday by provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mzwandile Petros. He described the murder as senseless.

Maswanganyi (51) was the head of 21 police stations in seven police areas in Johannesburg and had more than 31 years’ service.

His body was found near Hammans­ kraal at about 3 am yesterday morning in a bushy area next to the R101 road to Soshanguve. Maswanganyi’s private vehicle, an Isuzu bakkie, was found late on Monday near the place where he had been killed. His feet had been tied with a belt and his hands with wire.

He was not shot.

He was previously the head of the police’s emergency services in Gauteng and also headed up the greater Krugersdorp district before his appointment in his current position two years ago.

Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Neville Malila said at the murder scene that it appears that Maswanganyi was attacked while he was travelling to work in Johannesburg on Youth Day.

The father of three was married to a teacher and lived some six kilometres from the scene of the murder. Maswanganyi’s two brothers met with the family yesterday to support his widow. The family was too traumatised to comment.

Malila said his police uniform and identification were in the bakkie and a search was immediately launched when the bakkie was found. He said the team was investigating all possibilities and that the postmortem report was still expected.

Johan Lucas, chair of the Hammans­kraal community policing forum, said people are often attacked and robbed on this section of the road. Recently reports of 15 armed robberies have been listed in this area.

“Motors are hijacked, people are robbed and there is also prostitution.”

Four years ago, Maswanganyi told Beeld: “As long as residents do not feel safe in their homes, the police cannot sit back and say there are no challenges to take on.”

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