Mpumalanga cops stumped after third burglary at human settlements department

0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
olice spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said they had opened a case of business burglary and were appealing to anyone with information to come forward. Picture: iStock/ MattGush
olice spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said they had opened a case of business burglary and were appealing to anyone with information to come forward. Picture: iStock/ MattGush

NEWS


Mpumalanga police have launched an investigation following a third burglary at the provincial department of human settlements offices in five weeks.

In the latest incident, the thieves got away with five laptops and seven desktops on Saturday. The computers were stolen from the risk management, transversal services, human resource planning and human resource development units.

Police spokesperson Colonel Donald Mdhluli said they had opened a case of business burglary and were appealing to anyone with information to come forward.

The motive for the burglaries is still unknown.

The other two break-ins happened last month when laptops and computers were stolen. It is suspected that the thieves have been looking for critical information to cover up alleged corruption.

READ: More drama at Mpumalanga human settlements offices as computers stolen after break-in

However, human settlements spokesperson Freddy Ngobe said the department had no corruption cases being investigating or that had been referred to law enforcement agencies.

“The department does not know the motive. However, investigations are currently underway and may reveal the reasons behind the incidents,” Ngobe said.

The offices are in a government complex, a national key point which is under 24-hour police guard.

Following the incidents last month, the provincial department of public works installed closed-circuit television cameras and posted security officers to man the area, Ngobe said.

“Criminals normally use the back part of the government complex then jump the fence and gain forceful access to the building from the back,” he said, adding that the police had not yet made any breakthrough on the incidents last month.

When the first break-in happened, a source within government said that surveillance cameras had been dysfunctional for a while.

The break-ins happened after departmental head, Kebone Masange (51), was charged for allegedly falsifying citizenship documents.

READ: Break-ins at Mpumalanga human settlements offices since HOD’s arrest

However, there is no evidence to link the burglaries to Masange’s citizenship battle even though sources told City Press that it raised questions why the department began experiencing this crime after the arrest.

Mpumalanga Premier Refilwe Mtshweni-Tsipane placed the Zimbabwe-born Masange on special leave.

The Hawks have charged Masange with fraud in contravention of the Immigration Act after he misrepresented himself three times before the department of home affairs which resulted in him being issued three identity documents (IDs).

Masange, the former municipal manager of Newcastle Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal, applied for two IDs as a South African and a third one as a Zimbabwean when he was granted an exemption to be in the country in 1997. He appeared in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court and was released on warning.


facebook
twitter
linkedin
instagram

Sizwe sama Yende 

Journalist

+27 11 713 9001
sizwe.yende@citypress.co.za
www.citypress.co.za
69 Kingsway Rd, Auckland Park
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24

E-Editions

All your favourite publications in one place.
Read now
Voting Booth
Former president Jacob Zuma's legal team has given the chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, an ultimatum. Either he recuse himself or Zuma will either prolong proceedings or exercise his right to remain silent
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Zuma is undermining Zondo
64% - 579 votes
Zuma is within his rights
9% - 80 votes
Zondo has done a good job
27% - 249 votes
Vote