On Sunday 10 June AfriForum’s Tzaneen neighbourhood watch in conjunction with the South African Police Service (SAPS) apprehended an alleged armed farm attacker in Kgapane. His accomplice was also arrested on the same day.
The police have been looking for the suspect since 2 November 2017, when he allegedly struck on a farm and opened fire on farm workers. Pieter Venter, Chairperson of AfriForum’s Tzaneen branch, opened the case at the SAPS. The next day (3 November), a neighbouring farm also came under attack and one of the workers was shot with the same weapon. The farm worker died in the hospital. In the meantime, there have been a further six armed robberies in the area after which victims gave a similar description of the suspect and the weapon.
According to Venter, the collection of accurate information was the key to success.
“AfriForum in conjunction with TrackBox created a profile of the suspect and further information was obtained through an AfriForum network to complete the profile. We handed this information over to the SAPS, who arrested the suspect on Sunday.”
The weapon that was used, as well as the clothing the suspect allegedly wore during robberies, was found in his possession. Stolen items were also confiscated.
Jaco Grobbelaar, AfriForum’s District Coordinator for Limpopo, says the arrest is an excellent example of how the community and the SAPS can work together to apprehend criminals.
“With proper, trustworthy information the police can curb crime and even get ahead of it. Cooperation and trust between the community and the SAPS is also of utmost importance. Communities must develop the ability to collect and process information, as well as to tackle safety actions together with the police.”