Detective Constable Siphiwo Nteta from Lwandle near Somerset West tracks down some of the country’s most ruthless criminals and makes sure they land up behind bars.
Now Nteta, 30, has been named South Africa’s best detective.
He was previously named the provincial detective of the year and has twice received the accolade for “catch of the year” for helping to arrest some of Cape Town’s worst criminals.
In November 2011, he nabbed Anathi Ngcukana, who was on the Western Cape’s top-10 most-wanted list for three murder charges and six charges of attempted murder.
Nteta said Ngcukana had absconded while on bail.
“We tracked him to the Eastern Cape, but then he moved to Joburg, then Durban, before we found out that he was back in Nyanga (near Cape Town).”
All nine cases are back in court, six of them in the Western Cape High Court and the rest in the regional court in Strand.
Nteta said he always wanted to be a policeman, especially a detective.
He is also responsible for putting syndicate leader Lulama Yedwa in jail for 36 years.
“Yedwa ran a syndicate that robbed local businesses like shebeens and spaza shops. They stole anything from R36 000 to even R90 000 a night.”
He said Yedwa had been arrested after a robbery in 2009.
“It was June 16 and I arrived on the scene and saw two men walking close to the shebeen who fitted the profile of the people who had been robbing businesses in the area.
“I drove towards them and they ran away. I managed to arrest one of them.
“Then, after an identity parade, Yedwa was identified as the leader of the syndicate because while the others wore balaclavas, he often showed his face in the shebeens.”
Nteta is married, and said his wife understood that he often had to work long hours.
“Some weekends I don’t even sleep or sometimes I drive home and get to the gate, only to drive back out again because there is a lead on a case I am working on. Sometimes I even forget to eat,” he laughed.
But he finds the job fulfilling and likes working with his colleague Constable Zwelidumile Dzingwe, who was his partner when they won the “catch of the year” award in 2009 for arresting four people wanted in connection with murder.
“They had run away to the Eastern Cape but we managed to track them down and bring them back to Cape Town.”
Over the years, Nteta has received several death threats, but he said these did not scare him because he knew what he was doing.
Police spokesman Tembinkosi Kinana described Nteta as a dedicated and committed SAPS member who worked with passion and enthusiasm.
published 09 May 2013 in Cape Argus