Minister Mthethwa congratulates police on Mashobana sentencing
12 Apr 2012The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa today congratulated the police team for a sterling investigative work, which resulted in the successful sentencing of William Mbatha, commonly known as ‘King of Bling’ or ‘Mashobana.’
Yesterday, Mbatha was found guilty of 24 charges including robbery with aggravating circumstances, kidnapping, possession of unlicensed firearm and impersonation of police officers. Johannesburg High Court Acting Judge, Narren Pandya sentenced him to 123 years imprisonment, however, he will serve 35 years since the judge behest that he serves other charges concurrently.
“We have noted and welcome the sentencing, mindful that this case took longer in terms of investigations and conclusion; at times with police being unfairly accused by some in society of dragging their feet. However, we understood that for police to secure harsh convictions they needed to conduct thorough and good investigations, leaving no stone unturned. And now the results are there for anyone to see. This is what we have been emphasising that whilst we are pleased when police arrest suspects, what becomes even crucial going forward is to secure harsher convictions,” stated the Minister.
Minister Mthethwa said he hoped this befitting sentence will further serve as a warning to all in society that crime does not reward. “We remain particularly concerned about some young people who often idolise such negative role models without knowing that all this ‘bling bling’ and possessions are unsustainable, in fact in most cases, it is blood money. We urge the youth to refrain from praising and idolising such criminals as role models. The right thing to do when they notice any suspicious conduct, is to alert the authorities.”
He highlighted that one modus operandi which was continuously worrying around Mbatha’s commission of crimes, was the impersonation of police officers. He added this trend had potential to negatively affect society’s trust in the police and create tensions. “The arrest and subsequent sentencing did not only come as a result of police investigations team but importantly, through working together with their colleagues from justice and prosecutions. This cluster approach is in line with ensuring that the Criminal Justice System is people-centred, protects, favours the rights of law-abiding citizens yet punishes those who break the law.”
Equally important, Minister Mthethwa commended the community participation who continuously provided ongoing tipoffs to the authorities. He applauded the communities who, instead of resting on their laurels and accusing government, took a stance in partnering with police to crack this case and many others. “We are serious when we say we shall continuously work smart and hard, to ensure that crumble crime syndicates, wherever they attempt to hide, police will prowl on them. This augurs appropriately with our community-participation philosophy of partnering with police in removing from society such negative role models,” added the Minister.
Police officers continue to score victories against criminals in the country, for example, they secured over 300 conviction of life sentences with more than 20 000 years of imprisonment on heartless criminals who committed heinous crimes such as rape and abuse against women, children and the elderly in the past 14 months.
Cell: 082 045 4024
Issued by: South African Police Service
12 Apr 2012
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