A man wanted in connection with the murder of an assistant bank manager killed for his cellphone in Amalinda last year was arrested this week.
The 20-year-old suspect, Siyabonga Menziwa, was arrested by police on Thursday night at a shack in Bardaton informal settlement in Duncan Village, said Captain Leon Fortune.
Fortune said the man confessed to the crime and appeared in court on Monday. His bail application is on February 4.
Assisting police in their investigation was private detective, Christian Botha, who said Mongameli Nase, a 24-year-old assistant branch manager at a bank in Gonubie, was murdered outside a pub in Amalinda in March last year. “He and a couple of friends were having drinks when his cellphone rang,” she Botha. “Nase went outside to take the call and that was the last time they saw him alive.”
About 15 minutes later a passerby walked into the pub and alerted patrons to the man lying injured outside. “His friends took him to Frere Hospital, where he was pronounced dead,” said Botha. “He had been stabbed.”
Shortly after the incident, Nase’s family contacted Botha and asked him to get involved in the case. “There was very little information to work with,” said Botha, speaking to the Dispatch yesterday. “there were no witnesses to the incident and his cellphone was all that was missing.”
Botha said he contacted the investigating officer and together the men set out to track the suspect down. “This was quite a complicated case and we had to do things by the book, which is why it took so long because when we eventually made an arrest, we didnt want the case thrown out on a technicality,” he explained.
Botha said he could not disclose how they tracked the suspect down except to say they traced a person who bought the stolen cellphone from the man. “He had apparently bought it off the suspect for just R150 shortly after the murder had been committed.
“It just goes to show, people should be wary of buying stolen goods because you have no idea how the thief got his hands on them in the first place.”
After learning the whereabouts of the suspect last Thursday, Botha accompanied the police to a shack in Duncan Village where the man was arrested. “This case is a good example of how private investigators and the police can work together successfully,” he said.
Nase’s mother, Nosipho, said the family welcomed the news of the suspect’s arrest. “I am really happy there has been a breakthrough,” she said. “It brings closure to us as a family because we were anxious to try and find out who had committed the crimes and why my son was killed.