Finally, fake cop is nabbed after three months on the run

2015-06-12 14:56
Alex Matsobane Maake, AKA Captain Alex Mailula, in his hospital bed.

Alex Matsobane Maake, AKA Captain Alex Mailula, in his hospital bed. (Hawks)

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Alex Matsobane Maake – the man who posed as a captain at Limpopo police stations for two years – has finally been rearrested after more than three months on the run.

He was arrested by the Hawks at a relative’s house in Lenyenye, outside Tzaneen, last night.

Maake arrived at Polokwane Police Station in 2012 and introduced himself as Captain Alex Mailula. He said he had been seconded from the police national headquarters in Pretoria to assist in Limpopo.

Maake worked in the tracing unit, where he hunted for wanted criminals, and later became a detective investigating criminal cases. Nobody suspected anything was amiss.

Maake was finally arrested earlier in February but managed to escape from police custody in Polokwane two days later, just before he was to appear in court. He was on the run until last night.

“We have been following him for a while and finally pounced last night. During his arrest, Maake tried his luck with the Hawks. He tried to flee and was shot in the leg and is currently under heavy police guard at a hospital in Limpopo,” said Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.

“A few months before his arrival in Limpopo, Maake had escaped from lawful custody at the Pretoria Central Police Station, where he was waiting to be sentenced for a [2010 rape that happened in Boschkop]. Besides the cases of impersonating a police official and escaping from lawful custody in Seshego and Polokwane, Maake will also answer to another rape case for which he was convicted in Crystal Park in 2009 but faltered [on his] bail conditions.”

Now that Maake has been nabbed, investigators will get to work to solve the mystery surrounding Maake’s latest crime.

Maake was obviously not vetted and was allowed to work as an police officer without any background or reference checks, which could have led to his arrest.

It is also not clear what he was doing while working as an officer because he was not drawing a salary from the police service. He had access to marked police vehicles and, according to sources within the police, he also had access to firearms and an evidence room.

It is understood that he led a flamboyant lifestyle, driving flashy cars and dressing well.

Acting Hawks boss Major-General Mthandazo Ntlemeza said an investigation was under way.

“We are still going to unravel this mystery of how he managed to enter our system and exploit it for his benefit. That is the biggest question South Africa is asking and I will personally make sure that we deliver on that,” Ntlemeza said.

“Those found to have assisted this dangerous criminal ... their days are numbered and they should voluntarily provide information or they will answer in court.”

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