I’m al­ways ready to swoop – cop

De­tec­tive even works dur­ing his spare time

Sowetan - - News - By Peter Ramoth­wala

Hawks de­tec­tive David Tumelo Mo­fo­keng is so ded­i­cated to law-en­force­ment that he helps out at a lo­cal po­lice sta­tion in his spare time.

Based in Van­der­bi­jl­park, the 46-yearold started his ca­reer 22 years ago, and he still has the drive to put crim­i­nals be­hind bars.

“I know that with my ex­pe­ri­ence, I can solve many dif­fi­cult cases,” he said.

“Hence I as­sist, par­tic­u­larly with mur­der cases, be­cause at the end of the day we all want to put crim­i­nals be­hind bars and pro­tect our com­mu­ni­ties.”

Last year, the sin­gle par­ent who stays in Mey­er­ton re­lo­cated his two daugh­ters, aged 10 and 17, to his mother’s place in Se­bo­keng while he helped Van­der­bi­jl­park po­lice ap­pre­hend killers who had been ter­ror­is­ing the area.

“As a sin­gle par­ent and di­vorcee, I had to take my chil­dren to their grand­mother be­cause I was not go­ing to be able to take them to school [in the morn­ing] and fetch them from school [in the af­ter­noon].

“I was given lim­ited time to con­duct a speedy in­ves­ti­ga­tion. With my chil­dren at my mother’s place, I had to put ev­ery­thing into this case,” Mo­fo­keng said.

He was as­signed to in­ves­ti­gate a shoot­ing in­ci­dent at a house in Boph­e­long, near Van­der­bi­jl­park, which left four peo­ple dead – in­clud­ing po­lice Cap­tain Khehla Maduna and com­mu­nity polic­ing fo­rum mem­ber Moses Mot­siri.

Seven other peo­ple sus­tained in­juries. Within a week, Mo­fo­keng had ar­rested three killers – Paseka Ishamel Le­bina, 26, Radiphaphang Elias Phakoe, 28, and Reuben Mokoena, 28.

He said the mur­ders shook the com­mu­nity and peo­ple were look­ing for jus­tice.

Mo­fo­keng said he lined up at least 60 wit­nesses to tes­tify in the mat­ter.

The three had shot at peo­ple who were at­tend­ing a party at the house, and then robbed them of money and cell­phones.

“[The sus­pects] sur­vived from the pro­ceeds of crime. These guys had no money to buy liquor and de­cided to go and rob peo­ple in the streets and houses. All of them had pre­vi­ous crim­i­nal cases,” Mo­fo­keng said.

They faced charges of mur­der, at­tempted mur­der and rob­bery. Last month, the three were each sen­tenced to a hefty 164 years in prison after they were pos­i­tively linked to the cases and con­victed.

They will each serve 25 years for each mur­der and seven years for each at­tempted mur­der con­vic­tion. Each also got 15 years for rob­bery with ag­gra­vat­ing cir­cum­stances and a year each for pos­ses­sion of un­li­censed firearm and am­mu­ni­tion.

“When jus­tice is served, I feel mo­ti­vated and will con­tinue to serve our com­mu­ni­ties by re­mov­ing crim­i­nals from so­ci­ety.”

/ THULANI MBELE

Hawks de­tec­tive David Mo­fo­keng is a hard-work­ing and ded­i­cated po­lice­man.

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