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COP KILLINGS

Police release photos of trio linked to slaying of Cape Town Leap officers — R1.35m reward still on offer

Police release photos of trio linked to slaying of Cape Town Leap officers — R1.35m reward still on offer
The suspects, from left: Khanelni Matroos aka Khasta; Khangelni Mbobo aka KG; Lindikhaya Mbeki aka Whitey, wanted in connection with the murders of two City of Cape Town law enforcement officers in Nyanga. (Photos: Supplied / SAPS)

Authorities say they have made progress in a case involving the murders of two Cape Town law enforcement officers, and are asking for help in bringing the suspects to book.

Nearly eight months after a triple murder at Old Crossroads in Nyanga, Cape Town, authorities have released photographs of three suspects wanted in connection with the killings of Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (Leap) officer Siphelo Magwa.

The suspects are also wanted in connection with the murder of another Leap officer, Zamikhaya Kwinana, who was killed at the height of the violent taxi strike in August this year.

Officer Magwa was killed along with two of his family members on Thursday, 18 May 2023, when gunmen opened fire on the vehicle they were sitting in.

Officer Kwinana died after being shot several times when the vehicle he was travelling in was ambushed in Nyanga on 4 August 2023.

SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Pojie said detectives attached to the provincial Serious and Violent Crime Investigation Unit were hard at work in collaboration with the City of Cape Town’s investigative unit to trace and apprehend the suspects.

“We appeal to anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the suspects, to establish contact with the investigating officers, Col Mtheto Mxabaniso on 082 339 7329 or Capt Lukhanyo Magathla on 082 411 3245. Alternatively, Crime Stop can be contacted on 08600 10111 or the mobile application My SAPS can be used.”

The suspects are regarded as armed and dangerous and should not be approached, he said.

‘He died innocent’

Ndileka Kwinana, the younger sister of Officer Zamikhaya Kwinana, told Daily Maverick that life hadn’t been the same since her brother’s death.

“It has been eerily quiet. The City of Cape Town and SAPS have not said anything. We’re still struggling day in and day out. The last time we heard from the City of Cape Town was before the funeral,” she said.

Kwinana said the family needed answers from the killers.

“All we know is that he died innocent. My brother was serving his duty at work for us as a family to be financially stable. The kids are not coping… even the other brother who used to stay with him at my father’s house in Nyanga has left home. He cannot cope at all.”

Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith welcomed the progress made in the two cases and appealed to people to come forward if they knew of the suspects’ whereabouts.

“The loved ones and colleagues of the victims remain devastated by their deaths, and bringing the killers to justice remains a priority.

“We remind the public that the reward of R1.35-million posted after the death of Officer Kwinana is still available.

“The reward amount is unprecedented, and was made possible when several benefactors approached the city requesting to pledge additional amounts to the reward already offered,” said Smith.

The City of Cape Town has lost five officers this year. Three were shot dead and the other two died in a car accident.

SAPS in the firing line

SAPS has lost more than 70 officers across the country over the past seven months in attacks and ambushes.

The latest incident involved Constable Sphesihle Cele, a 26-year-old Public Order Policing member, who was shot and killed while he and his team responded to reports of a man with a firearm inside a tavern in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, on 16 November 2023.

While responding, the young officer was shot by the armed man and died at the scene. His killer was shot dead by police.

This follows several shootings of police officers in recent months in the Western Cape:

  • Warrant Officer Lindela Mraqisa, a member of the Western Cape’s Protection and Security Service, was one of five people killed during a shooting in Gugulethu, Cape Town, on 30 September. She was off duty at the time.
  • Constable Asavela Mathe, a 29-year-old policewoman, was murdered in Malgas camp, Extension 4, Mfuleni, on 1 October. Mathe, who was attached to the Samora Machel SAPS, had been out with a friend visiting acquaintances in the area when she was killed.
  • Weeks before these killings, 37-year-old Sergeant Temba Mphalala from Bardale, Mfuleni, was killed in September in Site B, Khayelitsha, while off duty.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Weekend of bloodshed sees protection officer killed in mass shooting and policewoman found murdered

Speaking at the funeral of Sphesihle Cele last month, Police Minister Bheki Cele said he was appalled that about 10 officers had been killed every month since April; all at the hands of criminals.

“These criminals are daring, taking on the police … they will remove any obstacle in the way of their criminal greed. This is why I will forever call on police to fight fire with fire, especially when their lives are threatened.

“No officer must ever die with weapons in their hands.” DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • virginia crawford says:

    One of most efficient methods of law enforcement is policed roads. Our entire road network is a free for all as rules are ignored, and it is easy to transport drugs, rhino horn, perlemoen, weapons knowing the chance of a roadblock and search is minimal. Suspects like these would be caotured far more quickly this way, than appealing to the public. Anyway, if I spotted them and called the cops, what would happen? They will probably have got into a car and left by the time the cops arrive. Bring back roadblocks, speed traps and traffic cameras to cut crime.

  • Middle aged Mike says:

    There must be an awful lot of fear if a reward of that size hasn’t produced results.

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