Navalsig police officers back in court

The finer details of a 2018 business robbery implicating four Bloemfontein policemen in the Free State will come to light as the matter returns to the Local Magistrate’s Court today.

The four Navalsig police officers – Gideon Mandindi, Molebatsi Modisenyane, Mohlomi Ramaphiri, and Seabelo Mogopodi – are alleged to have robbed a shop owner who is a foreign national, of R25 000 in cash, cigarettes and a cell phone in October.

The suspects, whose ages range between 31 and 59 years, are alleged to have been armed on the day of the incident. The three constables and a captain are currently out on R1 000 bail and maintain their innocence in the matter.

During the bail application, prosecutor Johan de Vries indicated that the state intended opposing bail for the four men. Legal counsel for the accused argued against opposing bail adding that it was not clear in court documents whether the prosecution opposed bail entirely or intended on postponing proceedings for further information and investigations.

De Vries was against granting bail, as he felt the public would question the preferential treatment for policemen. The prosecutor later caved to the question for clarification, adding reluctantly that the state no longer opposed bail.

About 62 Free State officials have been dismissed from the South African Police Services (Saps) for their alleged involvement in crime over the 2018/19 financial year. Provincial Police Commissioner, Moeketsi Sempe, reveals the police officers were dismissed for their involvement in a range of crimes including murder, rape, stock theft and obstruction of justice, amongst a slew of others.

He says the number of those dismissed are higher than previous years, because of police management’s commitment to root out ill-discipline and corruption. Sempe says the increasing number of officials being shown the door is in part a reflection of the moral degeneration in our communities.

“This is what we have become,” laments Sempe. In response to a question posed by a member of the media regarding the ill-discipline within the service, Sempe stresses that discipline starts at home. “We should ensure our children are disciplined before they go out into the world and become police officers.”

It is yet to be confirmed if disciplinary proceedings have been instituted against the four Navalsig policemen.