Top cop held for theft of state diesel

A LIMPOPO police officer has been arrested together with two accomplices in connection with the theft of diesel in Levubu.

Inspector Avhashoni Mphagi, 49, based at Levubu police station, and his two alleged accomplices were arrested on Sunday on accusations of stealing diesel at the local offices of the department of water affairs.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba said Mphagi and the two men were allegedly found in possession of nine 25-litre containers of diesel.

The case against the three men, who appeared in the Levubumagistrate's court on Monday, was postponed to December 7.

Ramatseba identified the two alleged accomplices as Jonas Mhlongo, 18, who assisted Mphagi to steal the fuel, and Seth Makhado, 31, who bought the diesel.

Ramatseba said while Mhlongo and Makhado were remanded, Mphagi was granted bail of R500.

"Our investigations have so far revealed that the theft of the diesel had been taking place over a long period of time," Ramatseba said.

He said it appeared that the men initially stole five 25-litre containers of diesel before they were caught with the second batch of containers.

The street value of the loot was estimated at R2200, he said.

"We are currently investigating the matter with a view to ensuring that we uncover the whole truth," Ramatseba said.

"We also want to make sure that all those would-be thieves refrain from engaging in corrupt acts."

Meanwhile, the provincial department of water affairs said yesterday that it was collating information to determine how much diesel had been stolen from the facility since the scam started.