South Africa: Suspects Appear in Court After Being Arrested With Explosives

press release

Three suspects appeared in the Mdutjana Magistrate's Court yesterday, 21 January 2020 following their arrest by police in Siyabuswa near Kwa-Mhlanga on Monday, 20 January 2020. The trio's court appearance came as a result of information that police received from community members with regard to suspects who were armed with explosives and were conniving to commit crime in Siyabuswa near KwaMhlanga on Monday, 20 January 2020.

It is reported that police intercepted the five suspects' plans and conducted an operation to avert them (suspects) from executing their plot. Further information revealed that part of the suspects' plan was to bomb an ATM at a nearby filling station. The five suspects were being transported in a Grey Nissan 1400 Bakkie.

On the day, Monday, 20 January 2020, police patiently waited and at around 11h50am, the suspects who were in the Bakkie, fitting the description, drove closer to the place where they were supposed to carry out their evil mission. Upon noticing police, the four suspects that were at the back of the Nissan Bakkie jumped off and fled on foot to evade arrest, leaving the driver alone. The driver was requested by police to stop the car and a search was conducted wherein two electronics detonators; two 400 grams Pentolite Boosters; as well as one 12 volt of Ecco battery were found in the car. The 24-year-old Solly Ndala, driver of the Nissan Bakkie, was immediately arrested for possession of explosives. Police also launched a manhunt for the other suspects that absconded.

Police's efforts yielded positive results when a 30-year-old Issac Mhlongo as well as another 38-year-old man, were apprehended. The three were charged with illegal possession of explosives as well as conspiracy to commit crime unknown to the state. A police probe further revealed the involvement of a 32- year-old July Bongani Nkabinde, in the suspects' plan and information of his whereabouts was followed and he was arrested shortly following the arrest of the trio. Nkabinde was found in possession of a firearm and ammunition when arrested by police. He (Nkabinde) was charged with possession of illegal firearm and ammunition.

Ndala, Mhlongo, and Nkabinde appeared in court yesterday, 21 January 2020 and were all given bail and will appear again on 27 February 2020, whilst the 38-year-old man will appear in court today, 22 January 2020, at Mdutjana Magistrate's Court facing a charge of illegal possession of explosives. Police cannot rule out the possibilities of linking them with other crimes.

The Provincial Commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Mondli Zuma has commended the sterling work done by police in arresting the suspects. "I would like to thank members for their continuous relentless effort to prevent, combat and investigate crime always. Our commitment to root out crime in the province did not end during the festive season but we continue to uproot any criminality in the society so that people are and feel safe at all times, "said General Zuma.

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