Seventh suspect arrested for murder of police officer in Coffee Bay

2020-02-09 13:05
Court holding cells. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

Court holding cells. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file) (Duncan Alfreds)

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A seventh suspect has been arrested in connection with the murder of a police constable who was gunned downed in Coffee Bay in December 2019, the Hawks said on Sunday.

The suspect was apprehended during the early hours of Friday morning in Mqanduli and is expected to appear in the Mthatha Magistrate's Court on Monday, spokesperson Captain Anelisa Ngcakani confirmed.

Thereafter he will join his six other co-accused in the dock on a charge of murder.

READ| Sixth alleged cop killer 'who forced officer into police van with his dead colleague' arrested

Constable Lonwabo Soga was shot dead on 3 December while he and his colleague, Constable Siyabonga Nani, 41, had reportedly been attending to a complaint when they were approached by several men in a double-cab bakkie who were ostensibly in need of police assistance, News24 previously reported.

Two men approached Soga, who was in the driver's seat, while another two moved toward Nani's side of the vehicle, Ngcakani said at the time.

One of the suspects standing at the passenger's side drew his firearm and shot at Constable Soga, who died instantly. The suspects then ordered Constable Nani, who was not armed, to move the body of Constable Soga from the driver's seat to the back of the state vehicle.

Nani was then allegedly forced to get inside the back of the patrol vehicle with his dead colleague.

The suspects then drove the police vehicle to a nearby shop where the security guard was forced to open the gate.

READ MORE| 4 arrested for shooting Coffee Bay cop

According to Ngcakani, the suspects went to the owner's house and demanded R3 000, liquor and tobacco. They then allegedly fled the crime scene with the shop owner's Nissan Navara, which was abandoned on the way to Mqanduli.

The state vehicle was left on the crime scene with Constable Nani and Soga locked in the back.

On 6 December, four suspects were arrested and six unlicensed firearms including Constable Soga's service pistol were found and seized.

An assortment of police equipment, a police reflector jacket and a handheld radio were also found, Ngcakani said.

Subsequent to the arrests, Afika Bavu, 21, Afikile Nabo, 27, Xhantilomzi Ntshinga, 27, and Lubabalo Hlomendlini, 37, made their first appearance in court.

Anela Pencil, 31, was arrested on 11 December at a hospital in Elliotdale. Allegedly, one of his co-accused stabbed him during an argument.

A sixth suspect, Bonginkosi Ndevu, 27, was arrested on 15 January this year in Qunu.

Read more on:    police  |  port elizabeth  |  crime

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