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'I'm always ready to swoop' - Detective even works during his spare time

By Peter Ramothwala | 2017-10-13 15:45:11.0

Hawks detective David Tumelo Mofokeng is so dedicated to law-enforcement that he helps out at a local police station in his spare time.

Based in Vanderbijlpark, the 46-year-old started his career 22 years ago, and he still has the drive to put criminals behind bars.

"I know that with my experience, I can solve many difficult cases," he said.

"Hence I assist, particularly with murder cases, because at the end of the day we all want to put criminals behind bars and protect our communities."

Last year, the single parent who stays in Meyerton relocated his two daughters, aged 10 and 17, to his mother's place in Sebokeng while he helped Vanderbijlpark police apprehend killers who had been terrorising the area.

"As a single parent and divorcee, I had to take my children to their grandmother because I was not going to be able to take them to school [in the morning] and fetch them from school [in the afternoon].

"I was given limited time to conduct a speedy investigation. With my children at my mother's place, I had to put everything into this case," Mofokeng said.

He was assigned to investigate a shooting incident at a house in Bophelong, near Vanderbijlpark, which left four people dead - including police Captain Khehla Maduna and community policing forum member Moses Motsiri.

Seven other people sustained injuries.

Within a week, Mofokeng had arrested three killers - Paseka Ishamel Lebina, 26, Radiphaphang Elias Phakoe, 28, and Reuben Mokoena, 28.

He said the murders shook the community and people were looking for justice.

Mofokeng said he lined up at least 60 witnesses to testify in the matter.

The three had shot at people who were attending a party at the house, and then robbed them of money and cellphones.

"[The suspects] survived from the proceeds of crime. These guys had no money to buy liquor and decided to go and rob people in the streets and houses. All of them had previous criminal cases," Mofokeng said.

They faced charges of murder, attempted murder and robbery. Last month, the three were each sentenced to a hefty 164 years in prison after they were positively linked to the cases and convicted.

They will each serve 25 years for each murder and seven years for each attempted murder conviction. Each also got 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances and a year each for possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

"When justice is served, I feel motivated and will continue to serve our communities by removing criminals from society."