Two Lowveld journos Christopher de Wet, Rapula Moatshe exposed dangerous Ninja's gang in hard-hitting investigative articles: got police Minister to act: three gang members, including leader, arrested at Komatipoort
--- Three border-crossing "Ninja' kidnap-gang members arrested in massive SAPS/SANDF sweep with farmers from Komatipoort
19 Dec 2011 - Christopher de Wet and Rpula Moatshe, the two gutsy Lowveld Herald journalists who investigated and exposed the extremely dangerous Ninja-kidnap gang in a series of hard-hitting articles, report that a tracing tream - assisted by farmers - have tracked the Ninja gang-members, arresting three including the leader.
The police minister came into action to appoint a defence-force task team after parliamentary questions were asked by Ms Dianne Kohler-Barnard, DA Member of the Select Committee on Public Accounts, in the national assembly on Tuesday.
Barnard's question 3792 in the national assembly asked Mtetwa "what measures the SAP had put in place to deal with the situation on the Mozambican border at Komatipoort where this gang was creating havoc.
The minister then assigned a tracing task team of the Lebombo Border SA Policing Unit had been assigned to focus on the gang and its activities, aided by local farmers.
"Regular patrols are conducted by the task team assisted by information from local communities and farmers living in the vicinity."
On November 23 a farmer was attacked and robbed of a revolver by the gang.
The tracing team assisted by farmers managed to track these attackers -- and three gang members, including the leader, were arrested at Komatipoort.
"The stolen revolver was also recovered and the case was being investigated by the local detectives of Komatipoort," said Mtwetwa.
The three suspects had appeared in the Komatipoort Regional Court on charges of armed robbery and theft.
"The SANDF has also deployed members for borderline patrol," said Mtwetwa. http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/lowveld/lowveld-news-general?oid=4920896&sn=Detail&pid=490165&Ninjas--days-numbered
Gruesome murder shocks
Some of the farm workers attested to the reign of terror exerted by the Ninjas over the locals who were too scared to go out at night.
1 November 2011 by Christopher de Wet and Rapula Moatshe
KOMATIPOORT - The gruesome death of the woman who was killed by the Ninjas shocked farm workers who saw her decapitated body last week.
Allegedly, the dead woman was robbed of the contraband cigarettes she smuggled into the country through the easily accessible border-gate fence.
The perpetrators of the crime are known to be the Ninjas, who allegedly killed her and threw her body into the stream under the railway bridge.
One of the workers, Mr France Sithole was traumatised by the incident. Since he started working there in 1987 he had never witnessed such brutality.
The farm where he is working is located a stone's throw away.
According to Sithole, the army and the police came to the scene to investigate the incident.
Some of the farm workers attested to the reign of terror exerted by the Ninjas over the locals, saying they were often scared to go out at night, for fear of the merciless Ninjas. Sithole referred to them as tsotsis who were unemployed and always robbed Mozambicans crossing the border illegally, nabbing their cellphones, cash, contraband cigarettes and all their valuables.
The locals strongly suspected that the woman was killed after the Ninjas had robbed her of her illegal cigarettes. This modus operandi started almost seven years ago, according to Sithole, who added that they usually commit the crimes at night.
Other farm workers pointed out they regularly witnessed the robberies orchestrated by the Ninjas, who would stand at the roadside, asking for lifts from unsuspecting motorists. "Once a motorist stops with the intention of picking them up, they proceed to rob them," they said.
Lowvelder also learned that a freight vehicle, that was allegedly hijacked by the Ninjas on Friday, was recovered a mere two kilometres from the border post.
According to a source at the scene, the truck’s Tracker-system had already been removed and false licence plates placed on the truck.
The source added that the truck apparently ran out of diesel and was subsequently abandoned by the Ninjas who fled into the Lebombo Mountains.
LINK TO STORIES; ----http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/lowveld/lowveld-news-crime?oid=4846963&sn=Detail&pid=490169&Police-clamp-down-on-gang-members -------------http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/lowveld/lowveld-news-general?oid=4822582&sn=Detail&pid=490169&Gruesome-murder-shocks
Ninja gang members were arrested before -- but simply released again: