Dedicated Westville detective secures robbers’ conviction

Detective, Philani Dumakude secured 15 year sentences for two robbers at the Pinetown court last week.

NEARLY two years of devotion to a case of aggravated robbery has seen a Westville SAPS detective secure 15 year sentences for two accused at Pinetown court last week.

Capt Elizabeth Squires, spokesperson at Westville SAPS, said on an afternoon in the second week of November 2015, a resident was walking home along Roger Sishi Road in Westville.

At the time, police received reports of several robberies along a particular stretch of that road, targeting mainly domestic workers.

The area by its geography was suited to common and aggravated robbery as it ran alongside a four-lane main road and then on the other side was bush into where suspects could flee.

ALSO READ: Woman robbed by armed intruders in Assagay home invasion

“On this particular afternoon, the complainant was held up by the two accused who produced a knife and demanded his belongings. The complainant began to struggle but was quickly overpowered and the suspects fled. They didn’t get far however as in their hurry both were struck by a motor vehicle as they dashed into the road,” said Squires.

She said one suspect was severely injured and remained lying at the scene while the second managed to get on his feet and attempt to flee.

“He may have made his escape if it wasn’t for a quick witted minibus taxi driver who witnessed the incident. He got out of his taxi and pursued the suspect over the M19 freeway, caught him and duly brought him back to the scene,” said Squires.

Constables Dlamini and Mlungwana of Westville SAPS were quick to respond and placed the suspects under arrest and awaited an ambulance to stabilise them.

Detective Constable Philani Dumakude received the case and once charged, successfully secured the denial of bail to both accused. Const Dumakude also discovered both accused had prior convictions and he was determined to remove them from the community, for a lengthy period.

ALSO READ: Family left with more questions than answers

“Const Dumakude’s investigation had gone well until he discovered the victim had lost his job, changed his phone number and moved away from his home in the nearby township of Clermont. This testimony would prove vital in the trial so Const Dumakude placed all his energy into tracing the complainant. After a long period of dedicated detective work, the complainant was traced to Umzinto on the KZN south coast. Const Dumakude made it his personal mission to fetch him each day there was a court appearance and take him home again,” said Squires.

At the announcement of the guilty verdict and 15 year sentence to each accused, Westville station commander, Colonel Zwelakhe Zondi, expressed his pride in the dedication and professionalism Const Dumakude displayed in bringing the two accused to justice.

The detective himself heaped praise on the assistance of the taxi driver and his two colleagues who attended the scene for their excellent testimony.



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Deshni Ramkissoon-Pillay

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