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MBABANE – A police station is supposed to be the safest place, but not the Mbabane cop shop! This is the best conclusion that can be drawn following the mysterious disappearance of about E100 000, which was purportedly stolen at the aforementioned police station.

The money, which was discovered missing on Wednesday from a safe deposit box within the police station, was brought to the police station by a member of a stokvel.

According to impeccable sources, the stokvel member heeded the advice of the police that the public should seek assistance of the police in keeping large sums of money, mostly during the festive season.

According to definition.net, stokvels are invitation only clubs of many people serving as rotating credit unions or saving schemes. Members contribute fixed sums of money to a central fund on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis.
Normally, at the end of the year, the members of the stokvels share their dividends.


The disappearance of money from a police station is not an unusual occurrence as at the Pigg’s Peak Police Station, during a heist, six men took with them E6.2 million.
The money was to be disbursed to the elderly as grants and also, a fraction of it belonged to a stokvel.

Meanwhile, the Mbabane Police Station is littered with closed circuit television (CCTV), which is a system that sends television signals to a number of screens and is used as protection against thieves and to monitor any movements.

At the police station, the CCTV cameras are at strategic positions to capture anything in close proximity, however, it is not known whether there were cameras where the money was kept.

Impeccable sources relayed that the money was brought to the police station by a member of the stokvel, who knew a particular officer stationed there.
When seeking the safekeeping of the money at the police station, it has emerged that the officer and the said individual did not record any information.

Apparently, the law enforcer and the stokvel member had a gentlemen’s agreement on the safekeeping of the money. The money, which is said to have been saved by the members for the past 11 months, was to be picked at the police station on a particular day.

However, when the stokvel member went to the police station to collect the money in anticipation to share it with the other members, the safe box had been ‘cleaned’.


This is said to have caused panic and commotion between the members of the stokvel and the law enforcer. The impeccable source relayed that this was more frustrating to the police because they were preaching the gospel of caution to stokvel members and the public at large such that they were even encouraging them to take large sums of money to police stations.

The source said the incident happened at a time when people should be having faith in the police instead of second-guessing them. In fact, such an act, according to a source, was escalating the statistics of the negative publicity the William Dlamini-led team of law enforcers has had in recent years.
Not long ago, this publication reported that two police officers were arrested by security guards for allegedly shoplifting at Shoprite Supermarkets.

Also, a number of police officers have been arrested in recent months for offences ranging from dealing in narcotics (dagga) and robberies. Following the theft of the money, some of the junior police officers implored their superiors to apply the same vigour when investigating the case so as to get to the bottom of this matter.

The mystery regarding the disappearance of the money, according to the source, was that there seemed to have been no break-in where the money had been kept. As such, suspicions are rife that this may have been an inside job.
Meanwhile, a member of a stokvel (not the one related to the matter) said banks were ideal for safe depositing.

The member said ensuring that all their money was deposited in the bank to guard against robberies and temptations of theft was a better option.
Last month, a stokvel group of over 20 women had their hopes of a merry Christmas shattered as they were allegedly robbed of their year-long savings worth over E300 000.

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