Ex-Bafana player linked to hijacking

24 November 2010 - 08:27
By Mckeed Kotlolo

POLICE have arrested eight alleged hijackers and recovered more than 500 stolen computers at a storeroom owned by a former Jomo Cosmos and Bafana Bafana soccer star in GaRankuwa, north of Pretoria, yesterday morning.

They also found Metro police uniforms in one of the vehicles found at the storeroom during the bust.

One of the alleged hijackers was shot and wounded in the leg by members of a vehicle tracking company as he tried to escape. Three others managed to escape. The injured man was taken to hospital for treatment.

The soccer star, Lebogang Ghiba Morula, pictured, who served as assistant coach and development coach at Jomo Cosmos, once played for a Turkish side called Vanspor.

He was also in the Bafana squad for the 2002 World Cup jointly hosted by South Korea and Japan.

GaRankuwa police spokesperson Warrant Officer Matthew Nkoadi said following a tip-off police raided the storeroom in Zone 16 Industrial Park, GaRankuwa, about 11am. They were searching for a truck that was hijacked in Midrand in the early hours of yesterday .

"The truck was from Durban in KwaZulu-Natal and was transporting more than 500 new sets of computers when it was hijacked around 5am. It was taken to the Zone 16 Industrial Park," he said.

Nkoadi said police who were accompanied by tracker members arrived at the storeroom rented by the soccer star.

They found 11 men inside, but three of them escaped.

Police then arrested seven suspected robbers and confiscated a firearm, a stolen latest Kia Rio and an Iveco minibus.

The Kia Rio had been stripped of a steering wheel, number plates and part of the dash board.

"Police found five sets of Metro police uniforms, comprising shoes, trousers and shirts inside a Hyundai car with Durban registration number plates on the premises as well as a stolen plasma television and hi-fi sets," said Nkoadi.

He said the suspects were from different parts of Gauteng, including Thembisa, Natalspruit and GaRankuwa.

"When police arrived at the storeroom they found that the men had already off-loaded about half of the loot.

"At the moment it is not clear if the former soccer star was involved or escaped with the other three, but his car was found parked outside the storeroom," he added.

Nkoadi said a manhunt has been launched for the three suspects that were still on the run.