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Court update: Suspect arrested in connection with the fatal shooting of a police officer

The arrested suspect in this matter; Hangwani Molovhedzi aged 29 years old from Ngovela Village outside Thohoyandou, have today appeared before the Thohoyandou Magistrate's Court on charges of murder, car hijacking and attempted murder. He was remanded in custody with no bail until the 31 January 2018 for further Police investigations.

The deceased in this matter was identified as Lieutenant Colonel Phineas Marubini Mamatsiari aged 55 years from Dzwerani Village who was attached to the SAPS Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit previously known as VIS in Thohoyandou.

The hijacked Police vehicle and a firearm were recovered by the Investigation Team on Monday 09 October 2017 in the bushes along the Thohoyandou and Phundamaria Road.

These are incidents of murder, attempted murder, armed robberies and carjacking which occurred from 08 October 2017 at about 20:45 until the following morning of 09 October 2017 at Vuwani and Waterval Policing areas outside Thohoyandou.

During these incidents, the deceased who was attached to the Thohoyandou Vehicle Crime Investigation Unit was shot and killed and a Constable attached to the Thohoyandou Public Order Police was shot and injured.

It is alleged that the deceased arrived at his home from work when he was attacked, shot and killed by two unknown suspects and the police vehicle was hijacked.

The Police were summoned, stations were mobilised, the Public Order Police Unit and reacted swiftly to this incident by following the suspects.

While the manhunt was unfolding, reports were received that the same suspects have attacked the security guards from Mpheni Clinic, Watervaal Clinic, Mbhokota Clinic and Bungeni Health Centre where four (4) firearm (pistols) were robbed from each security guard and subsequently, in the early hours of Monday, 09 October 2017 at about 00:45, the same group of suspects were spotted next to the University of Venda.

They were immediately pursued by police and a high speed chase ensued. Upon noticing that police were pursuing them, the suspects fired shots, police retaliated. A Constable attached to the Public Order Police was shot and seriously injured during the shootout.

Source: South African Police Service

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