Woman (72) and two sons arrested in connection with hijacking and murder of cop

A pensioner and her two sons are expected to appear in court soon after allegedly shooting a traffic officer who refused to stop his vehicle when the group tried to hijack him.

The Bushbuckridge police have arrested a 72-year-old female pensioner and her two sons in connection with the hijacking and murder of an off-duty traffic officer, Thabo Mashigo (35), in Saselani Trust near Bushbuckridge on July 22 at 21:00.

Mashigo died after he was shot during an alleged hijacking. He apparently refused to stop his vehicle when the suspects tried to hijack it. This seemed to prompt them to fire shots at the vehicle, injuring its occupants. The suspects are said to have driven away with the victim’s car, abandoning Mashigo and his passengers. They were assisted by passers-by to reach Mapulaneng Hospital, where Mashigo was certified dead on arrival.

According to a report, members of the visible policing in Bushbuckridge received information on July 25 regarding a suspicious vehicle parked behind a house in Agincourt. The car was apparently covered with a white cloth. The information led the members to the house, where, upon arrival, they found an elderly woman with the vehicle.

The woman initially denied knowing anything about the car, but the team persisted and eventually learnt it was a VW Polo, which had allegedly been hijacked during the incident that claimed the traffic officer’s life.

After thoroughly inspecting the car, the team also found that the woman’s one son’s bedroom had been used as a hiding place for the vehicle’s battery. The pensioner and her two sons were detained for having a possible stolen vehicle in their possession. The prospect of filing more charges against the defendants and further connecting them to a case involving a hijacking and murder cannot be ruled out.

The suspects are expected to appear in the Mkhuhlu Magistrate’s Court soon.

The provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Manamela, has welcomed the arrest of the three suspects.

“Apart from collaborating with members of the community, the chances of winning the war against crime becomes a mammoth task. We really appreciate the community for playing their role through sharing information with the police, who acted swiftly. We trust that justice will be served for the victim’s family,” she said.