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Call to banish suspected thieves

Jan 13, 2012 | Benson Ntlemo |   0 comments

TWO suspected car thieves and their families are no longer wanted in their village in Malamulele, Limpopo.

UP IN ARMS: Residents of Malamulele protest on Wednesday outside the local magistrate's court during the appearance of three men accused of theft in the area. PHOTO: Benson Ntlemo

Douglas Baloyi, 44, and Sicelo Thomas Rikhoto - appeared in the local magistrate's court with Alex Ngobeni, 34, of Xihoko, for bail application on Wednesday.

They were all remanded in custody and their case was postponed to January 24.

Irate community members, who were ferried to Malamulele in trucks and minibus taxis, picketed outside the courthouse.

Their grievances - which were read aloud by community leader Livingstone Mabunda of the Mulamula Joint Forum - were received by chief clerk Joseph Maganu.

Among other issues, the residents demanded that the suspects be denied bail, and that they not be allowed back into their village.

Community spokesman Robert Vukeya said yesterday that the village had been hit hard by criminals, with the number of incidents increasing since 2010.

"The cellphones of several people have been stolen while they were asleep at night," Vukeya said.

"We have also had four machines used for pumping water stolen."

He said to counter the situation they were demanding visible policing in the area.

"The satellite police station works for four hours a day and it should be converted into a fully fledged police station," he said.

He said the last straw was the spate of car thefts. Three cars were recently stolen in the village.They were a Toyota Tazz, Cressida and Camry, all of which had been found by the police but had been been stripped

Police spokesman Warrant officer Alson Mapindani said the police appreciated the fact that the community were orderly and wanted peace.

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