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News: The SAPS arrests three men during investigation into break-in at office of the Chief Justice

Media Statement from Head Office Media Centre
Corporate Communication
South African Police Service

Pretoria: As the South African Police Service, we are pleased to announce developments relating to the break-in that took place at the offices of the Chief Justice, during the early hours of Saturday the 17th March 2017.

Within days of the commission of this crime, commendable progress has been made in the investigation following the unfortunate incident of burglary at the offices of the Chief Justice.  The multi-disciplinary team led by the Deputy Provincial Commissioner of Crime Detection in Gauteng, Major General Mary Motsepe, has been hard at work and their efforts culminated in the arrest three men in Mamelodi over the past few days.

The team followed leads and information which resulted in operations being conducted on identified addresses in Mamelodi in search of the stolen equipment and the perpetrators of this crime.  During the search of identified premises, three men were arrested linked to the break-in at the offices of the Chief Justice to enable further investigation into the matter.  Various items including unlicensed firearms and fake identity documents were seized during the operations.  These items are considered evidential material which will be presented in court.

We are also pleased to report that a vehicle which was possibly used as a getaway car during the commission of the crime has also been seized by our members.

Further interviewing of those who were arrested revealed the identity of a person with critical information required to resolve the crime and the recovery of the stolen IT equipment. The South African Police Service is calling upon Mr Nkosinathi Msimango, who was in the vicinity of Mamelodi on the day of the arrests and who has valuable information and insight into the commission of this crime to approach the investigating officer and/or report at the nearest police station to assist in this case.

The three suspects already in custody are expected to appear in court in Mamelodi today.  They will face charges relating to other crimes they were positively linked to pending further investigation on this matter. As the South African Police Service, we record our confidence in the criminal justice system and in particular the courts of this country.  We believe that the seriousness of this crime and the stature of the Office of the Chief Justice will be considered in the further processing of the cases the apprehended people are linked to. 

The outcry and outrage of citizens over this incident is justified because brazen criminals targeted the office of the highest judicial officer in our country.  However, our team’s speedy response to the crime and the thorough investigation of this crime will not go unnoticed, should be commended and recognised by all.

The South African Police Service has noted with serious concern, misplaced and/or irresponsible utterances and allegations made undermining the mandate of the South African Police Service provided for in the Constitution of our country to prevent, combat and investigate crime.  These statements are demoralising to the hard working members of the South African Police Service and are not assisting in the investigation process.  We call upon responsible citizens and leaders from all walks of life to take up their rightful positions and contribute positively and constructively in the fight against crime. Making baseless and unfounded allegations against any individual or leaders in government is not helpful during the course of investigations of crimes like that which manifested itself at the offices of the Chief Justice.  Casting a shadow of doubt on the capability of the South African Police service to investigate any crime committed is not assisting.  Anyone with credible information relating to this crime or any other crime must feel free to approach the investigating officers and deposit such information to enable the resolution of such crimes committed.

This significant breakthrough together with the speedy resolution and/or breakthroughs in the cases of baby Siwaphiwe in KwaZulu-Natal as well as the ORTIA heist bears testimony to the fact that the South African Police Service remains committed to prioritising and thoroughly investigating serious crimes such as these in a bid to reduce the incidence of serious and violent crimes in our country.

We have also sanctioned a security assessment for the purposes of advising on the enhancement of security at the offices of the Chief Justice.

"We are extremely pleased that our members are working tirelessly to ensure that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to book.  I am urging the people of South Africa to continue to work closely with our members to ensure that incidents which seek to undermine our Constitution must not have a place in our society.  The leadership of the South African Police Service in all provinces continue to intensify their crime combating strategies and operations to ensure a safe and secure environment for all.  The Back-to-Basics approach adopted by the South African Police Service, which encompasses the thorough investigation of all crimes committed is yielding results,” said Acting National Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane. 


Enquiries: Brigadier Sally de Beer – National Spokesperson:  082 779 8658
Col Athlenda Mathe – National Spokesperson to the Acting National Commissioner: 082 555 2997




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