A 52-year-old man who was arrested for a separate case has been linked to the murder of a police official in the Free State and appeared in the Welkom Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday on a charge of murder.
Frimino David Matola is alleged to have been behind the murder of slain Sergeant Disema Steven Mapane, 43, who was attached to the Sasolburg Public Order Policing (POP).
The provincial police spokesperson for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as Hawks), Captain Christopher Singo said the murder took place on December 6, 2022.
“At about 10pm, members of the Sasolburg POP, Bloemfontein Tactical Response Team (TRT), and Welkom detectives were following up on information about a suspect who had allegedly committed a robbery at a petrol station in Welkom on November 24, 2022,” Singo said.
“The information led the police to Lesitsa Street in Thabong where Matola resides. Upon arrival, a shootout ensued between the police and Matola. The deceased Sergeant Disema Steven Mapane was shot. He was rushed to hospital where he was declared dead.”
On September 21, 2023, Matola was arrested in Limpopo for a cash-in-transit heist which took place in Hoedspruit.
The police in Limpopo informed their Free State Hawks counterparts after they learnt Matola was wanted for the murder of a police official.
“Members of the Hawks' Serious Organised Crime Investigation team based in Welkom arrested him in Limpopo after his court appearance in Hoedspruit,” Singo said.
The case has been postponed until November 21, and Matola has been remanded in custody.