Limpopo police have called on stokvel members to use new methods of distributing money, as crimes against them have increased significantly.
A 26-year-old man will appear in two different courts in the province after he was linked to two acts of stokvel robberies.
According to the police, the man was arrested at Paledi Mall outside Polokwane after another such robbery where an unknown amount of money was stolen at gunpoint.
Limpopo police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said the suspects were identified in the Tzaneen CBD where they were ordered to stop by the police.
“They sped off and a car chase ensued until one of the suspects was arrested at Paledi Mall with the backup from the South African Police Service in Mankweng,” Ngoepe said.
“During the arrest, one unlicensed firearm was recovered and the suspect is still being processed to check his history with a possibility of linking him to previous similar cases in the same cluster.”
He said the suspect’s accomplices managed to evade the police.
“The arrested suspect will appear in both the Mankweng and Lenyenye Magistrate’s Courts soon.”
Ngoepe urged stokvel members to use other methods to distribute money, instead of carrying it in large quantities.
“We urge all people to be vigilant this festive season. We also want to urge all women participating in stokvel social clubs to stop distributing their collected money in cash.
Meanwhile, a 54-year-old woman was robbed of stokvel money after she arrived at her home from the taxi rank.
Ngoepe said the victim had entered her room in the Ga-Mamaila village with the money she had withdrawn for distribution when two unknown cars topped in the street.
“Three unknown men entered her room and demanded the money. They then fled the scene with the money.”
In another incident in Modjadjiskloof, a 42-year-old woman was robbed of stokvel money at Goudplas.
It is alleged that the victim was asleep when six armed suspects forcefully broke into her home.
“She was also robbed of her stokvel money and clothes for her children and [the suspects] fled the scene.
Ngoepe said the police were busy with investigations for all remaining suspects in the three cases.
Anyone with information about these crimes can contact Lieutenant-Colonel Cecil Machimani on 082 451 7181, Crime Stop on 0860010111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.