A fresh threat against the safety of a local businessman and member of a prominent family brought to the Police’s attention has shed light on the reported whereabouts of a suspect sought for an immigration-related case and against whom a charge of extortion was provisionally withdrawn late last year.
According to information the suspect, who has been on the run since November last year, had been spotted in Polokwane around the same time as the threat made against the businessman during the first few days of the year. Polokwane Observer was informed that the matter was brought to the attention of the Police on 4 January this year.
According to a source a man who identified himself as the suspect had approached a close liaison of the businessman over the phone and subsequently warned that he and his guys were going for him.
The incident serves as addition to claims in related criminal cases of extortion as well as intimidation initially instituted against four suspects around mid-November, following an incident in Nirvana during which two male members of the family were allegedly targeted by a group of close to 20 foreign nationals reportedly affiliated to the Pakistani Limpopo Association South Africa.
Both cases were later provisionally withdrawn at Polokwane Magistrate’s Court. Pakistani-born Salman Hamid, one of the suspects against whom the intimidation case was provisionally withdrawn, appeared in court at the end of November on suspicion of being in South Africa illegally and of fraudulently obtaining an identification document. He was granted R2 000 bail and the case against him is due to serve on the court roll again on 28 February.
Earlier Polokwane Observer reported on warnings of a killing or a kidnapping planned against members of the family within days of the incident. Information on the matter moved Provincial Police Communications Head Motlafela Mojapelo to bring it to the attention of Provincial Police Commissioner Nneke Ledwaba and his deputy responsible for crime detection.
Mojapelo’s comment on the latest developments in the matter is still awaited.
Story: YOLANDE NEL