Captain Strike Ngubane and his team of detectives slept on the floor without blankets in Msinga, KwaZulu-Natal, to arrest a killer they wanted for the murder of Sakhumzi restaurant manager Kwesi Hudson.
Ngubane, the lead detective in the serious and violent crimes unit at Orlando police station in Soweto was instrumental in the arrest and conviction of Njabulo Ngubane, 24, for the 2017 murder.
The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg last week sentenced the 24-year-old killer to life in prison.
Two weeks after the murder of Hudson, who was shot several times, Njabulo had attempted to rob another business in Msinga, Ngubane said.
The community of Msinga apprehended him and called the police. This led to the Orlando detectives leaving Soweto overnight. "We had to leave the province abruptly based on the information we had at our disposal," Ngubane said.
"We didn't even have blankets, we slept on the floor at the old police barracks."
For six months, Ngubane, who has been an officer for over 30 years, had to oscillate between KZN and Soweto to secure crucial evidence against the killer. They found he had worked with five other Ngubanes to commit several crimes between Johannesburg and Msinga.