3 cops in 160kg gold ore heist

BY SILAS NKALA

Three police officers based at Fort Rixon Police Station have been implicated in a 160kg gold ore theft at Sheep Skin A mine, a police report shows.

According to a leaked police document dated July 12, the owner of Sheep Skin A mine, Elijah Sithole (38), reported the matter of gold ore theft at Fort Rixon Police, implicating the three police officers.

Sithole alleged that one Assistant Inspector Mandipaza, a sergeant Shumba and one constable Ruwanika stole his gold ore.

“Circumstances are that on July 9, at around 2pm, accused booked out OB reference 3638/19 to a mine owned by Wilson Vimirayi Nyamiwa of Willowash stamp mill,
Mount Royal Zulu 8 mine, Fort Rixon, to attend a scene of theft of gold ore travelling in a private vehicle, registration number unknown,” the police report
read.

“They passed through Sheep Skin A mine, Fort Rixon, where upon arrival they asked Witness Luphahla, an employee at Sheep Skin A mine, who operates the hammer
mill, to produce the documents for the hammer mill.”

The police document stated that Luphahla advised them to enquire from Sithole, as he did not know where the papers were kept. It is alleged they took with them
a hammer mill crank, shovel, sample dish and the blankets used while milling.

“On July 10, at around 12 noon, the accused persons booked out OB ref 3648 using ZRP 230T and arrived at Sheep Skin A mine. When the employees, who were
crushing the gold ore and preparing it for milling saw the police officers, they fled leaving the ore behind,” the report read.

“The accused persons loaded the ore into empty bags that were on the ground and afterwards loaded the gold ore into the police vehicle. They went away with the
ore to an unknown destination. On July 12, at around 8am, the complainant came to Fort Rixon Police Station, making a follow up on his gold ore and could not
find it at the police station.”

Sithole made a report to the police and investigations are said to be in progress under ZRP Fort Rixon, RRB number 3860778.

About 160kg of gold ore were stolen, whose value is unknown and nothing was recovered.

Contacted for comment, Matabeleland South police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele referred Southern Eye to national police spokesperson Assistant
Commissioner Paul Nyathi.

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