A 34-year-old Zimbabwean man, Loaded Maguta, was remanded in custody when he appeared before the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court for possession of a stolen vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner.

Limpopo police spokesperson, Brigadier Hlulani Mashaba said Maguta appeared in court on Wednesday, and was remanded in custody.

“A 34-year-old Zimbabwean suspect, Loaded Maguta who was arrested for possession of suspected stolen motor vehicles in Polokwane has appeared at the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court,” said Mashaba.

“He is remanded in custody until October 31, for formal bail application.”

On Tuesday, IOL reported that the SA Police Service (SAPS) in Limpopo has arrested a 34-year-old man for possession of a suspected stolen motor vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner sport utility vehicle which was reported stolen in Gauteng.

The man who was nabbed near the Beitbridge border post on Monday, is also linked to a vehicle smuggling syndicate operating between Gauteng and Limpopo.

Police in Limpopo have recovered a Toyota Fortuner 2.8 vehicle which was stolen in Gauteng on Saturday, being smuggled into Zimbabwe via the Beitbridge border post.

Earlier this week, Mashaba said different units of the SA Police Service as well as private security companies received information about Maguta driving on the Berghenk Road, smuggling a vehicle from Gauteng to Zimbabwe through Beitbridge border post.

“An operation was activated, and the team spotted the described Toyota Fortuner 2.8. They tried to stop it, but the driver sped off,” said Mashaba.

A high-speed chase ensued from the Kuschke Agriculture School until the Toyota Fortuner came to a stop along the R101 Road.

“The suspect was immediately arrested for possession of a suspected stolen motor vehicle, driving without a valid driving licence, and it was also established that he is in the country illegally,” said Mashaba.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that the vehicle was reported stolen at Garsfontein, in Pretoria on Saturday.

“The same suspect, on the October 14, smuggled a Toyota Hilux Legend 50 to Zimbabwe,” Mashaba said.

Provincial commissioner of SAPS in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has commended the law enforcement teams involved “for moving swiftly” to arrest Maguta.

Hadebe has also directed the law enforcement teams probe the modus operandi in order to prevent the same incidents from happening in the province.

Maguta is facing charges including breaching of immigration laws, possession of suspected stolen motor vehicle and driving a motor vehicle without valid driving licence.

Police said ongoing investigations might link Maguta to similar cases of vehicle theft and smuggling.

Text/ image: IOL