Limpopo’s infamous fake cop gets nine years for fraud and his great escape

Alex Maake wat homself voorgedoen het as kapt. Alex Mailula. Foto: Argief/Valke
Alex Maake wat homself voorgedoen het as kapt. Alex Mailula. Foto: Argief/Valke

A man who went undetected for two years while posing as a policeman at various stations in Limpopo has been sentenced to nine years for impersonating a police officer and escaping from custody.

The infamous bogus cop, Captain Mailula, real name Alex Matsobane Maake (41) pleaded guilty to charges of fraud, impersonating a police officer, escaping from lawful custody and contravention of the Correctional Services Act.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed Maake’s sentence.

He also said that his wife, Isabella Khomotso Maake (49), was sentenced to a 12-month suspended sentence by the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Thursday after pleading guilty to the charge of contravening the Correctional Services Act.

“Maake’s run-in with the law dates back to 2002 when he was arrested and convicted for rape and theft which he committed in Boksburg. While awaiting sentencing at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre, Maake was aided to escape from lawful custody by constable Princess Phumla Mahlangu,” said Mulaudzi.

“Mahlangu colluded with Maake and pretended to be investigating Maake on a trumped-up and fictitious docket. She deceived the aspirant prosecutor at the Pretoria magistrates’ offices to issue a requisition request under the false pretext that she needed to book out Maake for investigation and interrogation. She later unlawfully let him escape in Silverton on 18 January 2012.”

Mulaudzi confirmed that Mahlangu, who was stationed at Bronkhorstspruit police station, was dismissed from the police service.

From con to cop

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.

He worked at Polokwane and Seshego police stations as well as at the crime intelligence unit. Mulaudzi confirmed that Maake investigated serious criminals and made several arrests. He also assisted the police in successfully opposing bail in some of the matters before the Polokwane and Seshego magistrates’ courts.

Soon after his arrest, Maake told City Press that the national head of the Hawks, Major-General Berning Ntlemeza, was a big fan of his work.

At the time, Mulaudzi said Maake’s allegations were not surprising because “we are dealing with a conman who managed to infiltrate the police service, used our regalia and virtually had access to our systems. Whether he was doing well or not is irrelevant.”

Today, Mulaudzi said that during his tenure as a fake cop, Maake used his “rank” to get money from businesspeople in Polokwane.

“He also used state resources, including a firearm, to illegally offer protection services to businesspeople in that area and evicted people from their houses,” he said.

The Hawks pounced on him in February 2015.

During a random search at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correction Centre, Maake was found in illegal possession of a cellphone inside the prison cell. Investigations revealed that he had received eight calls from his wife and made 28 calls to her. This led to her arrest.

Other crimes

Apart from the nine-year sentence, Maake has been sentenced to the following:

» In January 2002 he was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment for robbery he committed in Boksburg.

» In June 2002 Maake was sentenced to serve 15 years in jail for rape and five years for theft by the Regional Court in Benoni.

» On October 16 2015 Maake was also sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for rape and five years for theft by the Cullinan Regional Court.

The Hawks’ investigation has gained momentum and more arrests relating to Maake’s reign of terror as a bogus policeman in Limpopo are imminent.

The national head of the directorate for priority crime investigation, Lieutenant-General Mthandazo Ntlemeza, praised the investigation team and the prosecutor for a sterling job which left Maake with no choice but to own up to his crimes.

“The pleading of guilty by the accused and his wife is testament to our spot on investigations. Now our claws are out for those who were or are still associated with the convicted criminal so that we can also bring them to book for justice to be served satisfactorily.”

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