police trainees bust crime gang

RESIDENTS of Nqutu in northern KwaZulu-Natal have applauded police trainees who put a stop to a spate of housebreakings and other serious offences in the area when they arrested the alleged mastermind behind the crimes.

Sifiso Mntambo, 23, the alleged break-in kingpin was arrested last week.

He was also linked to two other cases of housebreaking, murders and a rape.

Mntambo was in possession of a 9mm pistol when he was arrested near Cassino School.

He is also linked to a break-in at the local Luvisi Primary School in 2009.

He was allegedly accompanied by a 16-year-old boy when he committed this crime.

Mntambo was the only outstanding suspect in an armed robbery and rape case in Gubazi, where a gang allegedly robbed the tuck shop owner at gunpoint and escaped with groceries.

Mntambo allegedly raped a girl before leaving the scene.

Mntambo's partners in crime, Sibusiso Gwala, 22, and Mzayifani Gwala, 42, were arrested last week.

The other members of Mntambo's gang include Sabelo Gabela, 15, Norman Mncube, 27, Bongumusa Ndaba, 22, Njabulo Mdletshe, 18, Sthembile Mtshali, 21, and Nkosinathi Nkabinde, 23, were arrested a fortnight ago by the police trainees and officers.

The gang members appeared in the Nqutu magistrate's court and were remanded in custody for bail applications on March 24.

Mntambo, who is allegedly the ringleader, also faces a charge of murder after a 30-year-old victim was killed and a TV set stolen in February.