Sizwe Mduduzi Mahlalela (38) was remanded in custody after appearing in the Barberton Magistrates court recently on a charge of car hijacking. Mahlalela was arrested during an intelligence driven operation led by the Mpumalanga Serious Organised Crime Investigation team together with Nelspruit Crime Intelligence.
This follows investigation into a series of car hijacking that were preceded by an incident of attempted cash-in-transit heist (CIT) that took place last week. It is alleged that a group of armed suspects rammed a cash van on the road between Barberton and Nelspruit and attempted to blow it with explosives.
When the suspects saw that the CIT is unsuccessful, they allegedly hijacked a Toyota Hilux bakkie and fled to Barberton. In Barberton they allegedly abandoned the bakkie and hijacked a VW Polo which was later recovered between White River and Kabokweni.
Mahlalela was allegedly linked to both recovered vehicles and a warrant of arrest was issued against him which resulted in his arrest. Further investigation by the Hawks Serious Organised Crime Investigation team established that the suspect was out on parole when these crimes were committed. He had been sentenced on charges of murder and house robbery.
The case against Mahlalela was postponed to the 28th of June 2021 and he remains in custody.
Captain Dineo Sekgotodi said this was the first suspect amongst those sought to be arrested, she said the police managed to trace him through fingerprints and that they are still on the search for other suspects.