On Friday, February 2, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the City’s Group Forensic and Investigation Service (GFIS) Department raided Mahogany Flats in Eldorado Park and arrested one suspect who is allegedly involved in the stealing of the Soweto Country Club fence, Soweto Urban reports.
Four more suspects are being sought.
The 12 stolen fence panels are worth about R60 000, and the fence forms part of a number of upgrades to Soweto Country Club, which are intended to bring economic upliftment to the community.
City of Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said that he was informed that the thieves have been cutting the fence bit by bit since December last year.
“I am happy that the thief is behind bars and I have no doubt that the police with work around the clock to ensure that everyone who was involved is behind bars. I would like to commend GFIS and the Police for the sterling job they did,” said Mashaba.
The theft also happens at the time when the Soweto Country Club is about to be re-designed by Gary Player. The designer of the original golf course‚ will re-design the course at no cost as part of the refurbishments to the facility.
The project has already seen the building of a new club house‚ a new practice facility‚ a conference centre‚ and a fence constructed along two boundaries of the golf course itself.
The existing storage facility at the Soweto Country Club will be turned into a fully operational pro-shop and a South African Golf Development Board Academy‚ named after Rivonia Trialist‚ apartheid activist and avid golfer‚ Andrew Mlangeni.
It was a tip-off that the suspect was arrested. A good samaritan came forward with information on where part of the stolen fence was being kept and by whom.
The sting operation led to a block of flats in Eldorado Park where the stolen fence was recovered.
“These thieves will not deter us in our quest to refurbish the facility and I would like to thank the residents of Eldorado Park who refused to be part of this criminal activity and pointed out the thieves.
Historically these criminals have operated with impunity, and those days are fast coming to an end,” Mashaba said.
Mashaba urges the community to report any theft, fraud and corruption activities through the 24-hour tip-off hotline on 0800 002 587 or to visit the GFIS offices, located at 48 Ameshoff Street in Braamfontein.