Police officer and accomplice appear in court

POTCHEFSTROOM – A 45-year-old police Warrant Officer, Simon Ndambi and his accomplice, Dipuo Mokwena (50), were each granted R500.00 bail upon appearance before the Brits Magistrates’ Court yesterday for alleged kidnapping, extortion, attempted murder, common robbery and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm. They will reappear in court on 21 April 2020.

The duo’s court appearance stems from an incident in which a complainant reported on Sunday, 15 March 2020, at about 17:50 that his 27-year-old son was allegedly kidnapped by unknown suspects who pretended to be police officers. The latter allegedly demanded ransom for the release of the victim. As a result, police accompanied the complainant to the place where the suspects were going to receive the money. It was at Safari Park in Brits that one of the accused waited in his Volkswagen Polo for the victim to deliver the money.

Subsequently, the accused, Simon Ndambi, ran away and hid himself inside security guard room after being confronted by the police. The accused allegedly fired a shot towards the police officers who returned fire. It was at that point that the accused was arrested and his vehicle as well as a firearm were seized. No one was injured during the shooting incident.

The police then proceeded to a farm where the complainant’s son and another victim aged 26, were found. The victims who were found handcuffed with cable ties, were taken to a local hospital for treatment due to assault injuries. Further investigation resulted in the arrest of the second accused, Dipuo Mokwena (50) at Rooikoppies near Brits. A Toyota Hilux bakkie belonging to one of the victims was also recovered. It was further established that the second victim’ sister was also contacted by the accused to extort money from her. She was allegedly instructed to deposit the money into one of the victim’s account.

The Provincial Commissioner of North West, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena applauded the police in Brits for their speedy reaction, which saved the lives of the kidnapped victims and led to the arrest of the accused. He further elaborated that the police will continue to fight crime including sending out a strong message that no mercy will be shown even to our own members who commit crime.

Anonymous tip-offs can be shared through MySAPS App or by calling Crime Stop number on 08600 10111.

Source: South African Police Service