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TAXI 'HITMAN' arrested IN a bullet-proof vest, FLASHING A police badge

By unknown | Apr 29, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi

Police believe they have arrested one of Johannesburg's most notorious taxi hitmen.

Collen Tsie, 36, who masqueraded as a policeman to perform his heinous crimes, was arrested on Thursday.

Police said the man was known to the various taxi factions, but what they did not know was that he was selling his services to both.

"There are people who say he shot at them," the police said. "What he would do is collect the money from one faction and then go and eliminate the marked victim."

He was arrested in Commissioner Street in central Johannesburg when he tried to extort money from Faraday Taxi Association executive member Raymond Mndeni Nzima.

Posing as a cop he claimed he could make murder cases against Nzima disappear for a fee.

"I became suspicious when he talked about a dozen cases pending against me because I know of only one," Nzima said. "So I called the police."

He said Tsie wanted R20000 to cancel the supposed cases.

Nzima, who owns a fleet of 43 taxis, says Tsie was most likely the hitman in the pending cases because he would always be the first person on the scene.

"Whenever someone is killed Collen would be there and he would know who killed them," he said. "He would go as far as being one of the witnesses in court."

David Mahlangu, another taxi owner, said Tsie, posing as a cop, shot him in one of his "raids".

"He shot me above the eye and in the arm," Mahlangu said. "I opened a case against him,but nothing has happened."

The taxi owners said Tsie claimed he could get away with anything because of his contacts with top policemen, including Johannesburg Central police station Assistant Commissioner Simon Mpembe.

A source close to the police said cops realised Tsie was a poser when they questioned him.

"He did not understand police lingo and we realised he was a bogus cop," the source said.

He said Tsie was wearing a police bullet-proof vest, carrying dockets and flashed a police badge when arrested.

Nzima said Tsie would go to the rival Faraday and Dorljota taxi association members and offer his services to kill opponents. Dorljota spokesman Joe Mophuting said his group never hired hitmen.

Inspector Xoli Mbele of the Johannesburg police said he could not find a person called Tsie in the cells and suspected the alleged hitman used another name.

But an officer at the Germiston police station confirmed that Tsie was being questioned.

Tsie is due to appear in the Johannesburg magistrates' court today on a charge of impersonating a police officer. Further charges are expected to be filed later.


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