Disgraced police chief demoted

POLICE management yesterday relieved Brigadier Vukani Mgobhozi of his duties as the head of the disgraced Inanda Police Station, where 98 firearms went missing.

POLICE management yesterday relieved Brigadier Vukani Mgobhozi of his duties as the head of the disgraced Inanda Police Station, where 98 firearms went missing.

Mgobhozi was summoned to the KwaZulu-Natal police head office in Durban and informed that he must leave the station immediately.

Mgobhozi will report to the provincial police inspectorate in Durban while his fate is being decided.

Police management had expressed a vote of no confidence in Mgobhozi at a meeting on Wednesday.

Police chief General Bheki Cele yesterday confirmed that Mgobhozi has been relieved of his duties because of a number of reasons.

"More people are coming out with information and more arrests are imminent.

"The guns that had been siphoned from the police station are from the ballistics unit.

"It was easy to track them down because the records are there," he said.

Some of the stolen firearms were for cases dating back to 2004.

Five guns have so far been recovered by the police, and seven people, including three police officers, two clerks and two security guards, were arrested on Wednesday.

Yesterday, Themba Blose, 30, Jabulile Mtshali, 31, Noah Blose, 46, Bonginkosi Dlamini, 35, and Bonginkosi Mdima, 45, appeared in the Verulam magistrate's court.

The case was postponed to June 2 and they were remanded in custody.

The sixth accused, Thulisani Mfeka, appeared in the same court on Wednesday.

Last year, Mdima was arrested for a similar case of firearms theft at the Durban beach police station.

He was found guilty and given a suspended sentence.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Phindile Radebe said Mdima was appealing against the internal disciplinary verdict.

"We were waiting for the internal case to be completed," Radebe said.

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