Alleged Cape cop killer in court, as Bheki Cele visits province
Suspected cop killer Mxoleleni Sikhala appeared in the Bluedowns magistrate's court on Tuesday morning in connection with the murders of two Cape Town police officers over the weekend.
Sikhala was charged with two counts of murder, attempted murder and robbery with aggravating circumstances after he was arrested allegedly in the possession of two firearms, 45 rounds of 9mm ammunition and a cellphone.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Sikhala is a resident of Khayelitsha’s Mandela Park.
“The case has been postponed to March 9 for bail information and for an attorney of the accused to come on board,” said Ntabazalila.
According to a Hawks statement, Kraaifontein police Sgt Mnakwazo Mdoko, 46, and Const Mninawa Breakfast, 28, were patrolling in Phumla Street, Bloekombos, at around 1.25am on Sunday when they were ambushed and shot dead by a group of suspects.
“Both Mdoko and Breakfast were declared dead on the scene and their official firearms stolen in the early hours of February 28,” said Hawks spokesperson Col Katlego Mogale.
The Hawks’ national priority violent crimes team along with members of the Kraaifontein police, Crime Intelligence and police K9 units followed up on intelligence on Monday leading to Sikhala’s arrest in Mandela Park, Khayelitsha.
Sikhala’s court appearance coincided with another visit by police minister Bheki Cele to the Western Cape this year after multiple shooting incidents related to gang violence and extortion syndicates.
Cele conducted an oversight visit in the Kraaifontein policing area and was also due to visit families of the fallen officers.
After at least 12 murders in the Western Cape since Thursday involving firearms, Western Cape acting provincial commissioner Maj-Gen Thembisile Patekile this week raised his concern over the proliferation of illegal weapons.
“With just a week in office, in his assessment of crime patterns within the province he has observed with concern the alarmingly high levels of serious violent crimes that are driven by the proliferation of illegal firearms,” said Western Cape police spokesperson Brig Novela Potelwa on Monday.
According to Potelwa, murders since Thursday included:
- On Thursday, two teenagers were killed in Beacon Valley, three others sustained serious injury.
- In Maureen Street, in Mitchells Plain, four men between the ages of 30 and 64 were shot dead on Saturday, while a fifth victim escaped with a gunshot wound.
- The murders of police officers Mdoko and Breakfast on Sunday morning.
- Four men in their thirties came under attack from two assailants in Thubelitsha, Delft, after 2am on Sunday. Two died in the scene while two others sustained serious injuries.
- Beaufort West detectives are probing a murder and an inquest after the discovery of the bodies of a couple in Hospital Heights on Saturday. A revolver with ammunition was found next to the bodies of the 61-year-old man and his wife, 60.
- Two brothers aged 17 and 19 were shot dead in Site B, Khayelitsha, on Sunday afternoon.
Potelwa said in the past week 30 illegal firearms and rounds of ammunition were seized with several arrests effected in various operations undertaken throughout the Western Cape.
The provincial government and the City of Cape Town redeployed 80 law enforcement officers to Mitchells Plain from the city’s five other hotspot areas following an increase in violence there.
Western Cape safety and security MEC Albert Fritz is expected to announce the deployment areas of the next 500 law enforcement officers currently in training as part of the safety plan announced by premier Alan Winde late in 2019.
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