Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Undercover agent spills the beans
22 September 2010, 07:47
By Hanti Otto
He dined and wined with alleged hijackers, met their families, let them sleep over at his flat, but all the while an undercover police agent was gathering information on the syndicate.
This agent yesterday told the Pretoria Regional Court he also bought "hot vehicles", including a Jeep Cherokee newly stolen or hijacked, from these "friends".
The cars also included a Toyota Camry, valued at between R40&nbs;000 and R60 000, but sold for R3 500.
The agent cannot be identified as he still operates undercover.
Andrew "Nanda" Selopyane, 30, Jadvic Sape, 33, Selby Mbezuma Mahlatji, 28, Melvin "Mover" Sibanda, 30, and Frank Makalane, 26, all from Atteridgeville, yesterday pleaded not guilty to a charge of robbery with aggravating circumstances.
It is alleged they hijacked Johannes Kritzinger's Camry near Proclamation Hill in March 2005.
Selopyane is also charged with robbery with aggravating circumstances in connection with the hijacking of Nicolaas de Beer's Jeep Cherokee, valued at R300 000, in Sunnysidein April that year.
The agent testified that his vehicle was fitted with hidden video cameras.
He was given a list of names of alleged hijackers and car thieves in Atteridgeville and Saulsville, and sent to infiltrate them.
The agent had a flat in Kwaggasrand with a video camera and he was given special operational entertainment money. "I had to entertain a certain lifestyle to keep my cover," he said.
His "legend" (cover story) was that he bought stolen or hijacked vehicles for buyers in Joburg, Tembisa and Soweto.
"I bought a Jeep Cherokee, several Camrys and a lot of other vehicles during this operation from February until October 2005," the agent said.
These vehicles would be returned to police and information he gathered used to catch the criminals. He soon befriended Selopyane. "He trusted me. I knew his family and girlfriend."
Sibanda became a "close friend". The agent and the five accused often socialised together.
On March 23, 2005, Sibanda allegedly called the agent, wanting R4 000 for a Camry. The investigating officer told the agent to negotiate and Sibanda accepted a R3 500 offer.
But the investigating officer only gave the agent R3 000. When the agent went to close the deal, all five accused arrived in the Camry.
Sibanda got into the agent's car, not knowing the video camera was switched on. The case is back in court in December.
This article was originally published on page 1 of The Pretoria News on September 22, 2010
Comments by Sonny
This case is similar to the "Boeremag" trial!
The Gold and Diamond Branch were famous for this kind of investigations!
Does the Constitution not define these crimes as "Entrapment?"
How many of these cases ever get to trial?