Limpopo men arrested for killing Samwu members, crime spree

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Mourners next to the coffins of Samwu leaders Ronald Mani and Timmy Musetsho during their funeral service at Makhuvha Stadium.
Mourners next to the coffins of Samwu leaders Ronald Mani and Timmy Musetsho during their funeral service at Makhuvha Stadium.
Photo by Armando Chikhudo
  • Two men have been charged with the murder of two union members.
  • Timson Musetsho Tshimangadzo and Ronald Mani were murdered six days apart in January 2019.
  • The two men who were arrested have been linked to several cases of murder, robbery and kidnapping.

Two men have been charged with the January 2019 murders of two SA Municipal Workers' Union (Samwu) members in Thohoyandou.

Timson Musetsho Tshimangadzo, 50, was shot at about 20:30 on 24 January 2019 while he was parking his vehicle in a garage in Makwarela. He died in hospital.

READ | Man officially charged with Samwu leader's murder

Six days later, Ronald Mani, also 50, was shot dead in a Singo bottle store in Itsani.

"Following these killings, the [police] commissioner appointed a high-level team of investigators, led by the deputy provincial commissioner responsible for crime detection, Major General Samuel Manala, to probe both incidents," said police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.

Two Makwarela brothers, aged 26 and 33, were arrested and charged with the murders on Monday.

'Linked to other crimes'

The Tzaneen tracking team initially arrested them on 19 March, for the possession of firearms and ammunition.

"The team that was following the suspects' tracks immediately took control of their custody and commenced with the process of linking them to the other crimes under investigation. After the conclusion of the investigations that linked both suspects to the two murders [in] Thohoyandou, they were also found to be positively linked [to] other crimes," Mojapelo added.

The two men face multiple charges of murder, robbery, kidnapping and attempted murder.

ALSO READ | Three arrested in connection with Samwu protests at Tshwane House

"We commend all members who were involved in these investigations for their relentless pursuit of any information provided and their determination in cracking these horrendous crimes. We also thank community members for continuously assisting the police in the fight against crime," provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba said.

"These arrests will undoubtedly put to a halt the reign of terror allegedly perpetuated by these heartless suspects and will go a long way in ridding the affected districts of criminality," Ledwaba added.

The men are expected to appear in the Thohoyandou Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

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