Top cop winner scoops more prestigious awards
THE Johannesburg central cluster has honoured some of its best officers and detectives as well as residents who contributed to improving safety in one of Gauteng's most crime-ridden areas.
This weekend Johannes Mkobi, a 2009 Gauteng Top Cop winner, scooped the Station and Cluster Commander's Award. He also emerged as Detective Employee of the Year and received the Arrest or Catch of the Year Award.
The 47-year-old officer has 24 years experience and has during the past five years worked tirelessly to crush business robbery gangs.
The latest syndicate that he broke was the "jewellery gang" that targeted top stores and pulled off some of the most daring robberies in recent years.
Mkobi worked around the clock to arrest four of the 12-member gang. Their leader is also under arrest in KwaZulu-Natal.
Mkobi has linked the men, who will appear in court today, to seven robbery cases.
Mkobi has also arrested 17 "dangerous" thugs, who had targeted large chain retailers in the central business district. These cases are at an advanced stage in the courts.
"Investigating a business robbery is very difficult," Mkobi said. "A lot of the time you find that statements are incomplete or witnesses say they cannot recognise the criminals.
"Many of the witnesses say they are afraid of testifying in court, where family members of the accused will see them.
"What I can say to other officers is that they should not rush through investigations," Mlobi said. "What they might omit in their haste could exactly be what will help them solve the crime."
The cluster consists of: Johannesburg Central, Brixton, Booysens, Mondeor, Sophiatown, Fairlands, Langlaagte and Moffat View. A total of 52 awards were given out.
Johannesburg Central cluster commander Major-General Tirhani Maswanganyi said Mkobi had managed to crack syndicates linked to 21 CBD robberies and six others in Booysens.
"I am proud because he is also getting good convictions with long sentences," he said.
Gauteng's 21 cluster awards culminate in the provincial awards in September. - firstname.lastname@example.org