After nearly two years of devotion to a case of aggravated robbery, a Westville SAPS detective secured 15 year sentences for two accused in a Pinetown court during the end of September 2017.
On an afternoon in the second week of November 2015, a community member was walking home along Roger Sishi Road in Westville. At the time we had experienced several robberies along a particular stretch of that road, targeting mainly domestic workers. The area, by its geography, is suited to common and aggravated robbery as it runs alongside the four lane M19, while the opposite was covered with dense bush into which suspects could flee. On that particular afternoon, the complainant was held up by the two accused who produced a knife and demanded his belongings. The complainant began to struggle but was quickly overpowered and the suspects fled.
They didn't get far however, as in their hurry, both were struck by a motor vehicle as they dashed into the road. One suspect was severely injured and remained lying at the scene while the second managed to get to his feet and attempted to flee. He may have made his escape if it hadn't been for a quick witted minibus taxi driver who had witnessed the incident. He got out of his taxi and pursued the suspect over the M19 freeway, caught him and duly brought him back to the scene.
Quick to respond were Const Dlamini and Const Mlungwana of Westville SAPS who placed the suspects under arrest and awaited an ambulance to stabilise them. D/Const Philani Dumakude received the case and once charged, successfully secured the denial of bail to both accused. Const Dumakude also discovered that both accused had prior convictions and he was determined to remove them, for a lengthy period, from the community.
Const Dumakude's investigation had gone well until he discovered the victim had lost his job, changed his phone number and moved away from his home in the nearby township of Claremont. His testimony was vital to the trial - Const Dumakude therefore had to direct all his energy to tracing the victim. After a long period of dedicated detective work, the victim was traced to Umzinto on the KZN south coast. Const Dumakude made it his personal mission to fetch him each day for a court appearance and take him home again.
At the announcement of the guilty verdict and 15 years sentence to each accused, Westville Station Commander, Col Z Zondi, expressed his pride in the dedication and professionalism which Const Dumakude displayed in bringing the two accused to justice. The detective himself heaped praise on the assistance of the taxi driver and his two colleagues who attended the scene for their excellent testimony. This is a fine result of a shining example in the SAPS community.
Sgt Stephen Clark