By Vumani Mthiyane
A police officer stationed in Gwanda was heavily assaulted after he was caught stealing gold ore belonging to former Gwanda Mayor, Knowledge Ndlovu.
The officer only identified as constable Moyo, who resides at Gwanda Old Camp and attached to the Signals department in Gwanda urban allegedly connived with twelve illegal gold panners and broke into Nldovu`s gold mine and stole about one tonne of gold ore.
On Tuesday night after 10 pm constable Moyo and twelve others who are still at large proceeded to Ettrick mine which belongs to Ndlovu.
The group took advantage of Ndlovu`s absence as he had gone to a stamp mill to process his ore and pounced on his mine.
They reportedly loaded the ore into a truck but Ndlovu was tipped by a friend that there were people who were loading ore at his mine.
“I can confirm that I had lost one tonne of gold ore to a thieving police officer who had hired otsheketsha (gold panners) to go and steal my ore. Constable Moyo could have got wind that I was busy milling my other ore at a stamp mill across town and then hired some people to go and load my gold ore in his truck,” Ndlovu told CITE.
“Fortunately, I got a call from my colleague informing me that there were some people loading my gold ore and we quickly closed in with my workers.”
However, when Ndlovu arrived at his mine, the truck had already left and they gave chase.
“When we arrived at the mine, they had gone and we had to lay an ambush close to another exit point. A few minutes later a suspicious vehicle emerged from the bushes which we tried to stop it but unfortunately it sped off and we chased after them,” he narrated.
They eventually caught up with the truck and apprehended the police officer while the other assailants fled into the bush.
After apprehending him they took him to Collen Bawn police station.
“On our way to the police station the driver was pleading with Ndlovu for forgiveness and even offered to pay him handsomely but Ndlovu did not budge,” said another witness close to the matter.
“Upon arrival at the police station we were told that the driver was a police officer. In his defence he told his colleagues that he was hired by the gold panners,” he said.
The police searched the vehicle and discovered a plastic bag full of South African rand and bond notes.
Contacted for comment, Matabeleland south provincial police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Ndebele said he was attending a workshop and could not give a comment.