One of the two unlicensed pistols recovered in the stolen vehicle in which the two suspects were travelling. Photo: Limpopo SAPS.
Date: 06 October 2018 By: Andries van Zyl
The two alleged armed robbers arrested in Louis Trichardt’s CBD last Tuesday both appeared in the Louis Trichardt Magistrate’s Court on 27 September.
The two suspects, Mpho Marchel (32) and Nkhume Leshiba (38), appeared on charges of being in possession of a suspected stolen vehicle and two illegal firearms and ammunition. They were denied bail and their case was postponed until 5 October for further police investigation.
Marchel and Leshiba were arrested during a joint-intelligence-driven operation composed of various police units and the Makhado Rural Safety structures (including the town and farm watch) as a concerted effort to eradicate incidents of TRIO crimes (robbery with aggravating circumstances, which include carjacking, house and business robbery) that are still prevalent in the area and in some parts of this province.
“The arrest emanated from an incident when the duo was en route to commit a business robbery in the Louis Trichardt CBD of the Makhado Cluster. The police received a tip-off from members of the community about the existence of a suspicious motor vehicle with armed occupants roaming around the area with a planned criminal mission. The joint operation was immediately activated and reacted swiftly, until these suspects were pulled off the road and apprehended,” said provincial police spokesperson Col Moatshe Ngoepe.
During the arrest, two pistols, eight rounds of ammunition and one vehicle, a Mercedes Benz that was reported stolen in the Mokopane policing precinct earlier this month, were recovered.
Following their arrest, Ngoepe said that the two men were also positively linked to a series of serious TRIO and other crimes in the Mahwelereng and Seshego Clusters. “The suspects will still appear before the Seshego and Mokerong Magistrate Courts respectively next week,” said Ngoepe.
In the meantime, the provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Nneke Ledwaba, applauded the team of police officers and the Rural Safety community who participated during this operation on a job well done.
Andries joined the Zoutpansberger and Limpopo Mirror in April 1993 as a darkroom assistant. Within a couple of months he moved over to the production side of the newspaper and eventually doubled as a reporter. In 1995 he left the newspaper group and travelled overseas for a couple of months. In 1996, Andries rejoined the Zoutpansberger as a reporter. In August 2002, he was appointed as News Editor of the Zoutpansberger, a position he holds until today.