MPUMALANGA: Four foreign nationals, Venus Ngobeni (35), Remember Ngobeni (37), Jabulani Ngobeni (46) and Yekelina Ngobeni (63) pleaded guilty and were sentenced by the Mhala Regional Court on Tuesday, 15 August 2023 for possession of stolen property (motor vehicle), defeating the ends of justice and contravention of the Immigration Act.
The sentence followed after four accused were arrested in July 2022 by the Hawks Nelspruit based Serious Organised Crime Investigation. Information on the suspects was received after the murder of a traffic officer in Bushbuckridge.
It is alleged that on the day in question, the victim was with his other male friends in his vehicle when they were approached by the suspects who tried to rob them. During the process, the victim tried to escape when he was shot. The suspects fled with the victim`s vehicle. It is further alleged that the suspects drove to a certain village and requested to park the vehicle then left.
The team conducted investigation and information received led them to a certain house in Xavayini Trust where the suspected stolen motor vehicle was found concealed.
The owner of the house and her three sons, originally from Mozambique, were separately arrested and charged for possession of suspected stolen property, defeating the end of justice and being illegal in the country. The suspects’ alibi led to the arrest of Maile who brought the robbed vehicle to be parked at their residence after he was given permission to do so.
It is further alleged that after Maile (who pulled the trigger) was arrested and detained, he boasted by telling inmates that he killed a traffic officer in Bushbuckridge. He was then assaulted and taken to the hospital whereby he succumbed through his injuries.
Further investigation revealed that on the day, Maile was with another suspect who was also linked and placed on the crime scene through cell phone analysis. The alleged suspect is not yet arrested. The docket was taken to court for decision, pending outcome.
The Ngobeni four appeared in court on several occasions until they pleaded guilty.
They were sentenced as follows:
Accused 1: Yekelina Ngobeni’s charges were withdrawn against her.
Accused 2: Remember Ngobeni sentenced to 30 days in imprisonment for being an illegal immigrant and to be deported to his country of origin.
Accused 3: Jabulani Ngobeni was sentenced to 30 days imprisonment for being an illegal immigrant and he is to be deported to his country of origin.
Accused 4: Venus Ngobeni was sentenced to 3 years and 30 days imprisonment for possession of stolen property, defeating the ends of justice and being an illegal immigrant. After serving his sentence he is to be deported to his country of origin.
The Provincial Head of the Hawks Major General Gerber applauded the investigating team for their efforts. He further extended his gratitude to the public for the valuable information provided. The General promised the community that the Hawks are committed to fight serious crime in the province of Mpumalanga.
Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi