General Bheki Cele and Minister Nathi Mthethwa praise Police and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for speedy prosecution in media robbery case
14 Jun 2010
The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Bheki Cele, today praised both the police and the National Prosecuting Authority for the speedy arrest, conviction and sentencing of three suspects who robbed foreign journalists at a lodge in the Magaliesburg area early on Wednesday morning.
Two of the accused, Bright Madzidzi (20 years of age) and George Magubane (28 years of age) were sentenced to 15 years imprisonment each for armed robbery. Ndubuisi Odungwa (20 years of age) was sentenced to four years imprisonment for the possession of stolen property.
"I am very pleased that the system put in place between the SAPS and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to deal with offences relating to the World Cup quickly has proved to be effective," said General Cele.
The police assigned dedicated teams of detectives to work on serious crimes directly linked to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. As the robbery of the three Portuguese and Spanish journalists last Wednesday morning involved the pointing of a firearm, this offence was deemed by police to be of a serious nature. The NPA established 56 dedicated courts, with assigned prosecutors and magistrates, to process these cases as expeditiously as possible. "Not only has justice been done in this case, but it has been seen to be done swiftly," added General Cele.
The Minister of Police, Mr Nathi Mthethwa also expressed his satisfaction with the investigation and judicial processes. "It took police no more than 24 hours to arrest these lunatic scoundrels. It further took the justice department no more than 48 hours to sentence them. Now this is what we have been echoing: that we will act with swiftness on any criminality."
"The manner in which the investigation was conducted and finalised, sends a stern message that our warnings to criminals were not empty threats. Particularly for this conviction, it sends a message that people should not be accomplices because they are equally involved in criminal activities," stated Minister Mthethwa."
"No criminal, whether South African or foreign will terrorise law-abiding citizens or visitors during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and beyond, especially because this is a festival of the beautiful game."
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