Wanted police killer expected in court

Alleged cop killer, Xolisa Lufutha. Picture: Hawks

Alleged cop killer, Xolisa Lufutha. Picture: Hawks

Published May 9, 2024


An alleged police killer is expected to appear in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Thursday on murder charges.

Xolisa Lufutha, 43, was arrested by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation’s (known as the Hawks) National Priority Violent Crime (NPVC) team based in Bellville on Wednesday, May 8.

The provincial spokesperson for the Hawks, Lieutenant Colonel Siyabulela Vukubi said Lufutha had a warrant of arrest out for him.

In June 2022, Warrant Officer Siyakubonga Mphakathi, 49, from Mfuleni, attached to the South African Police Service (SAPS) Rapid Rail Unit, was driving towards the Philippi railway station when he was shot through the window by three unknown suspects.

Slain Warrant Officer Siyakubonga Gladstone Mphakathi. File Picture

Mphakathi was declared dead on the scene.

“During the investigation, two suspects were arrested and charged with police murder.

“The case was referred to the Western Cape division of the High Court, and on October 27, 2023, the two accused made their first appearance. On the same date, the case was struck off the court roll and the accused were released,” Vukubi said.

As the investigation progressed, warrants of arrest for the two men were obtained by the Hawks.

“The warrants were circulated as ‘wanted’ and hence the apprehension of Lufutha,” Vukubi said.

In a separate matter, the Hawks’ Asset Forfeiture Investigation, in conjunction with the Director of Public Prosecutions Asset Forfeiture Unit, secured a preservation order which was issued by the Western Cape division of the High Court on April 19, and received on May 7.

“During February 2023, members of the Hawks' South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (Saneb) received information about a silver Chevrolet Utility that was travelling towards Cape Town. The vehicle was spotted and requested to pull over. Upon searching the vehicle, 13,000 mandrax tablets valued at R593,415 were found in a hidden compartment inside the boot. The vehicle which was used as an instrumentality was seized,” Vukubi said.

The suspect arrested in this matter, Lindikhaya Dyantyi, 38, is currently out on R50,000 bail.

He is expected back in the Worcester Regional Court on September 16 for trial.

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