Estcourt Deputy Mayor accused of involvement in Cash in Transit heist

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Three security guards travelling in an armoured vehicle were ambushed by eight men on the R103, just outside of Estcourt, on 8 June 2022.

Police spokesperson, Brigadier Nomthandazo Mbambo said the suspects allegedly opened fire on the guards and robbed them of their official firearms.

“They then tried to blow open the cash van but couldn’t access the money, and only a small amount of money was damaged due to the explosion,” Brigadier Mbambo added.

Two security guards were injured and were subsequently referred to hospital for treatment.

On 9 June 2022, the Pietermaritzburg DPCI National Priority Crimes Investigation, Pietermaritzburg Bomb Squad and K9, DPCI Provincial Tracing team and National Intervention Unit Field team operationalised information received and arrested two suspects in the Estcourt area.

Brigadier Mbambo added, “Preliminary investigation led to a house of another suspect where exhibits suspected to have been used in other Cash In Transit related crimes were found and seized. The said suspect is still sought by the police.”

While the two suspects in custody will appear before the Estcourt Magistrate’s court on Monday, 13 June 2022, the Democratic Alliance in the uThukela District has claimed that Sthabiso Dladla, the IFP Deputy Mayor of the Inkosi Langalibalele (Estcourt) Municipality was allegedly implicated in the CIT.

The political party now demands that he resign as the Deputy Mayor and as a councillor with immediate effect.

The DA uThukela District Constituency Head, Alf Lees said if Dladla failed to resign as the Deputy Mayor by Wednesday, 15 June 2022, the Democratic Alliance would submit a Motion of No Confidence in Dladla in his role as the Deputy Mayor, as well as calling for this motion to be dealt with in an urgent Special Council Meeting.

Moreover, Lees stated that according to a police report, Cllr Dladla was implicated after the two suspects who were arrested,  apparently pointed out Dladla’s house as the place where the Cash-in-Transit heist was planned.

“Apparently, Dladla also followed the vehicle that was ambushed on the day the Cash-In-Transit heist took place,” Lees said.

While Lees declared Cllr Dladla must hand himself over to the police without delay, he further stressed the IFP must act decisively to suspend the Deputy Mayor’s IFP party membership and support the DA Motion of No Confidence in Dladla.

Responding, the IFP Provincial Chairperson, Thami Ntuli stated that the IFP has noted with serious concern the allegations made against Cllr Dladla. “The information before the Party at this stage suggests that the allegations are baseless and without merit, as the Hawks have stated that they have not been able to positively link the Deputy Mayor to the alleged crime.”

However, Ntuli noted that the Deputy Mayor would present himself to the police on Monday, 13 June 2022.

“The IFP expects the law enforcement agencies to follow all necessary legal due process in investigating this matter to bring it to a logical legal conclusion with the necessary urgency,” Ntuli added.

Furthermore, he said the IFP reserves its right to invoke disciplinary processes at any moment should the need arise, and accordingly the Party will be keeping a close eye on this matter.

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