By ANGELIQUE SERRAO, KRISTEN VAN SCHIE and BOTHO MOLOSANKWE
Pretoria - Captain Tinyiko Norman Maswanganyi, murdered Major-General Tirhani’s brother, said the family had more questions than answers after the cop’s body was found by the K9 unit early on Tuesday in the veld near the R101 in Rooiwal.
“It was supposed to be his first day back from study leave,” he said.
Tinyiko said his brother was looking past his career as a police officer: He was studying to become a lawyer.
The family, meanwhile, is finalising arrangements to bury Maswanganyi on Sunday. A memorial service will be held on Friday.
“We’re trying to cope,” said his brother. “The psychologists and social workers are all here… It’s highly complicated for us.”
A R100 000 reward has been offered for information that will lead to an arrest and conviction in the murder of Maswanganyi.
Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mzwandile Petros announced this on Wednesday, saying the killing of a police officer was something he took personally.
Maswanganyi’s hands and feet had been tied.
Detectives at the crime scene said there were no bullet or stab wounds to his body.
Officers who had worked with Maswanganyi, who had been with the SAPS for 31 years, were convinced his murder was a hit. The police were awaiting the results of a post-mortem that would indicate the cause of death.
Petros said Maswanganyi was a corruption buster within the police force. He said Maswanganyi had been subpoenaed to testify in a murder case on Tuesday.
A source in the criminal justice system also told The Star that Maswanganyi had been working on investigations involving corrupt police officers.
The source, who couldn’t be named, said numerous police officers at Joburg Central police station, where he was based, had been arrested because of Maswanganyi.
“You couldn’t find a cleaner cop. He was ruthless about corruption,” the source said.
Masenyani Hlongwane, chairman of the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union in Joburg, said: “This was a hit, there is no other explanation. And it is obvious that it was not only one person involved.
“But all we can do is wait for answers and hope that the perpetrators are caught.”
Police spokesman Brigadier Neville Malila said Maswanganyi had left his home at about 2pm on Monday and was on his way back to Joburg, where he stayed in the week to be closer to work.
“Police started searching for him after they found his car unlocked, with his uniform and appointment certificate inside, at about 6pm on Monday.
“He did not have a service pistol because he was office-bound. His body was discovered at about 3am (on Tuesday),” Malila said.
Petros would not confirm whether the murder was a hit, but said both Maswanganyi’s work and private cellphones were missing. Nothing else was taken, including the cash in his wallet.
Petros said the police were shocked by the murder and they were working around the clock to make arrests. Top police officers in the province had been appointed, he said.
This includes the provincial head of detectives Major-General Norman Taioe, head of the Hawks Major-General Shadrack Sibiya and deputy provincial commissioner Major-General Tebello Mosikili.
Petros said Maswanganyi, who was brought in to head up the Joburg Central police cluster in order to fix “problems” in the six police stations under his watch, had blood on his face and a wound on his chest. Petros said only a post-mortem would confirm if he had been shot.
“This will not deter us,” he said, adding that he had made a commitment to the public to stop criminals, even if they wore a police uniform. Petros said there was never an investigation opened by Maswanganyi on threats to his life, but he had communicated to his cluster community policing forum partner, Andy Mashaile, that his work would one day “follow” him.