Seventh suspect arrested over Eastern Cape cop murder
On December 3 last year, police constable Lonwabo Soga was brutally gunned down while attending to a call-out in Coffee Bay in the Eastern Cape.
Now, on Monday, almost exactly two months later, a seventh suspect will appear in court over the slaying.
In a statement on Sunday morning, police said that a 30-year-old man was arrested in the early hours of Friday at Mqanduli, “His arrest brings to seven the number of suspects that have been apprehended thus far,” said national spokesperson Brig Vishnu Naidoo.
26-year-old Soga was on duty with Const Siyabonga Nani, 41, when they were called out to an incident in Coffee Bay — and then they came under attack from six men who were allegedly seeking police assistance.
Naidoo detailed what happened: “Four suspects approached their vehicle and Const Soga was shot dead whilst sitting inside the patrol van.
“Const Nani was ordered to remove his body and put it in the back of the police van before the group went on a crime spree using the state vehicle.”
He added that the men drove to a nearby shop, where a security guard was forced to open the gate seeing it was a police vehicle.
“They went into the owner’s house and demanded money, liquor and tobacco.
“The suspects then fled the crime scene with the shop owner’s Nissan Navara, which they allegedly abandoned on the way to Mqanduli. The state vehicle was left at the crime scene with Const Nani and Soga locked inside the back,” said Naidoo.
Three days after the incident, Afika Bavu, Afikile Nabo, Xhantilomzi Ntshinga and Lubabalo Hlomendlini were arrested, with officers recovering six unlicensed firearms and Soga's service pistol.
Then, on December 11, Anela Pencil was arrested, bringing the arrest tally to five.
On January 15, a sixth man, Bonginkosi Ndevu, was taken into custody.