Sixth suspect arrested for police killing

EASTERN CAPE Bonginkosi Ndevu (27) appeared at the Mqanduli Magistrate court today for the 3rd of December 2019 murder of Constable Lonwabo Soga (26) in Coffee Bay. Ndevu was arrested through an intelligence driven operation which was conducted by the Serious Organised Crime Investigation of the Hawks, Crime Intelligence and the Tactical Response Team in Qunu on Wednesday, 15 January 2020.

He is the sixth suspect arrested for the murder of Constable Soga. Afika Bavu (21), Afikile Nabo (27), Xhantilomzi Ntshinga (27), Lubabalo Hlomendlini (37) were arrested on 06 December 2019. Hlomendlini was arrested in Mqanduli while the rest of the accused were arrested in Mthatha. The fifth accused, Anela Pencil (31), was arrested on 11 December 2019 at a hospital in Elliotdale. He was admitted at the hospital after he was allegedly stabbed by Ndevu as a result of a dispute between them.

During the arrest of the first four accused, the team recovered six unlicensed firearms including the one belonging to the deceased member which was robbed during the incident as well as ammunition. An assortment of police equipment including hand cuffs, a reflector jacket and a hand radio were also found during the arrests.

At the time of the incident, Constable Soga and Constable Siyabonga Nani (41) were reportedly on duty at Coffee Bay attending a complaint when they were approached by approximately six men in a white Isuzu double cab. It is further alleged that the suspects pretended as though they needed assistance from the police. Constable Soga, who was the driver of the police vehicle was approached by two of the men while Constable Nani was approached by another two as he sat on the passenger’s side. One of the suspects standing at the passenger’s side drew his firearm and shot at Constable Soga who died instantly. The suspects then ordered Constable Nani who was not armed to remove the body of Constable Soga from the driver’s seat to the back of the state vehicle. Constable Nani was then forced to get inside the back of the state vehicle.

The suspects then allegedly drove the state vehicle to a nearby shop where a security guard was forced to open the gate seeing it is a police vehicle. It is alleged that the suspects went to the owner’s house and demanded R3000, liquor and tobacco. The suspects then allegedly fled the crime scene with the shop owner’s Nissan Navara, which they allegedly abandoned on the way to Mqanduli. The state vehicle was left on the crime scene with Constable Nani and Soga locked at the back.

Ndevu’s next court appearance will be on 22 of January 2020 at the Mqanduli Magistrate court. He will appear together with his five co-accused. All accused remain in custody and they face charges of murder, attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Source: South African Police Service