Limpopo Police were out in full force since the start of the long weekend and made several arrests which include eight people allegedly responsible for xenophobic attacks in Thabazimbi and another eight in connection with rhino poaching.
Police also managed to apprehend three suspects in connection with the recent fuel station robberies.
Cycler killed by giraffe
Police in Bela-Bela are investigating the death of a man who was allegedly killed by a giraffe while he was cycling at the Thaba Monate Game Lodge on Sunday. According to Provincial Police Spokesperson Ronel Otto hikers discovered the body of the cyclist and a post mortem will be conducted during the week to determine the cause of his death. The deceased is from Nigel, Gauteng.
Looting of foreign-owned shops
Eight people allegedly responsible for the looting of foreign-owned shops in Thabazimbi on Monday evening were expected to appear in the Thabazimbi Magistrateâ€™s Court yesterday (Wednesday). â€œViolence erupted on Monday at around 23:00 when four foreign-owned shops were broken into, looted and one was set on fire. Public order policing unit was deployed to the area to monitor the situation,â€ Otto said.
Unrest at Medupi
On Tuesday Police were called out to Medupi power station near Lephalale where some workers allegedly attempted to block the road. Otto denied previous reports of striking Medupi workers. â€œWe cannot confirm that they were striking, but there were allegations of people attempting to block the road. Police were deployed to the scene to monitor the situation. No arrests were made,â€ Otto said.
Up for 37 cases of rape
Meanwhile DNA tests positively linked a 23-year-old man from Bolobedu with 37 cases of rape in the Bolobedu area. â€œThe man was arrested in May last year when he broke into the house of his last victim, which he reportedly overpowered and raped. The victim screamed during the ordeal causing her father to wake up. The suspect fled but the victimâ€™s father gave chase and shot him in the leg,â€ Otto said.
He is expected to appear in the Tzaneen Magistrateâ€™s Court again today (Thursday).
Rhino poachers apprehended
Eight suspected rhino poachers were also apprehended in separate incidents within the area of Groblers Bridge and Kruger National Park (KNP).
In the first incident two suspects were arrested at Groblersbrug border post while trying to sell rhino horn as well as six diamonds. The two, from Zimbabwe and Botswana respectively, are expected to appear in the Mokopane Magistrateâ€™s Court on Tuesday. The origin of the items is still being investigated.
At Lulekani just outside Phalaborwa, Samuel Mabunda, Climate Mathebula, Chester Malungane and Eric Mandlazi were arrested and four hunting rifles, ammunition, axes, knives, cellphones and cash were confiscated. They are expected to appear in the Phalaborwa Magistrateâ€™s Court today (Thursday).
At KNP close to the Phalaborwa gate two suspects were arrested after being spotted by visitors to the park. â€œVisitors reported two suspicious men crossing a tar road in the park to rangers of the park. The information was immediately followed up and resulted in the arrest of the two men. A .458 hunting rifle, ammunition, a knife, two cell phones and four rhino horns were confiscated. They were expected to appear in the Phalaborwa Magistrateâ€™s Court on Tuesday,â€ Otto said.
Provincial Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola applauded all members in the different units for their hard work, dedication and commitment to bring the suspects to book.