2007-09-11 : Metro officer held over gun-running

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2007-09-11 : Metro officer held over gun-running

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2007-09-21 09:11

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?from=set ... 691C526610

Metro officer held over gun-running

September 11 2007 at 08:56AM

By Anna Louw

An Ekurhuleni metro police officer has been arrested for the second
time in less than a year for suspected gun-running.

Some of his colleagues swooped on him in a sting operation at a hostel
in Actonville, Benoni, on Monday night.

Constable Richard Msibi, who is in his 50s, was allegedly caught
red-handed selling ammunition at the Wattville/Actonville hostel. He
was in full metro police uniform at the time and was travelling in his
own car.

A senior metro police officer at the scene of the alleged crime, and
who has been part of the investigation from the outset, said they had
had Msibi in their sights for some time and were monitoring his
movements closely.

He confirmed that Msibi had been given back his job a month ago by
Ekurhuleni metro's city manager Patrick Flusk, under pressure from the
South African Municipal Workers' Union.

Msibi was suspended after his first arrest about eight months ago by
the metro's police chief, Robert McBride, and some of his top
investigators in Thokoza.

At the time, Msibi was found with a range of firearms and ammunition
as well as counterfeit R50 notes hidden in the back of his bakkie.

The officer said they handed all the evidence and supporting
documentation to the Germiston Organised Crime Unit and that the case
was supposed to have been tried in the Alberton Regional Court, but it
appeared to have been quashed.

He said the metro police investigators tailing Msibi were also
investigating whether anyone "had been bribed to lose the docket".

"These are very serious allegations and we will not stop until we find
out what happened to the case in Alberton," the officer said.

Wilfred Kgasago, spokesperson for the Ekurhuleni metro police,
confirmed Msibi's arrest.

Superintendent Vusi Mabanga said Msibi was arrested at about 7pm. He
said they have taken possession of 103 9mm rounds and 122 AK-47 rounds
and an AK-47 magazine.

Reza Patel, chairperson of the Benoni Community Safety Forum, who was
also at the scene, described the arrest as a major breakthrough.

"It is appalling that a metro police officer has been arrested in
connection with such a serious allegation.

"And it's significant that Robert McBride made the first arrest, which
showed he was committed to fighting crime, even in his own

Patel added that crime in the region has been on the increase since
McBride's suspension by the mayor, Duma Nkosi, pending the outcome of
his drunk-driving case in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court in November.

Patel said the arrest of a metro police officer should send a message
to criminals that nobody was above the law and that positive work was
being done in terms of community safety.

Msibi was expected to appear in the Benoni magistrate's court on Tuesday.

o This article was originally published on page 3 of The Star on September 11, 2007
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Postby GOSA » Fri, 2007-09-21 09:17

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1 ... 836C985597

Gun-running accused cop face serious charges

September 13 2007 at 08:51AM

By Lebogang Seale

As Constable Richard Msibi was escorted into the dock, he avoided any
eye contact with the public in the gallery and seemed uninterested
when the magistrate read out charges to him.

There were, however, mutterings in the courtroom when the magistrate
told Msibi he faced charges of illegal possession of three firearms
and 102 9mm and 122 AK-47 assault rifle live rounds.

The 55-year-old Ekurhuleni metro cop was appearing at the Germiston
magistrate's court on charges related to possession of illegal
firearms and ammunition.

'I want to apply for bail now. My wife is seriously ill'
Msibi, from Alberton, was arrested on Monday night after his
colleagues allegedly caught him selling more than 200 rounds of live
ammunition at the Actonville hostel in Benoni.

He was driving in his car and dressed in full police uniform at the
time of his arrest.

The firearms and an undisclosed amount of ammunition were allegedly
found at his house following his arrest.

This follows a sting operation by officers who had been monitoring him
since similar charges against him were dropped earlier this year.

His clients are believed to be connected to cash-heist crimes.

Appearing before magistrate Samuel Mashimbye on Wednesday, Msibi was
advised to seek legal representation because he faced serious charges
with a minimum sentence of 15 years or a heavy fine.

But Mashimbye had hardly finished postponing the case to September 21,
for a bail application when Msibi demanded he be granted bail

"I want to apply for bail now. My wife is seriously ill," said Msibi,
who has 22 years of police service.

State prosecutor Thabo Motlhamme, who had earlier made clear his
intention to oppose bail, also objected to this, saying that Msibi was
"not a doctor and that there was no need to inconvenience other
matters on the court roll".

A visibly distressed Msibi bit his lower lip and heaved a huge grunt
as he was escorted back to the holding cells.

o This article was originally published on page 2 of The Star on September 13, 2007
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