‘Suspects’ in murder of People’s Doctor released

Three of the four men arrested for the two separate crimes against Dr George Koboka, including his murder last week, have been released.

This has come to light as police have now backtracked on their statement released on Saturday that claimed they have arrested three men in connection with the murder. However on Tuesday police said the men were not arrested but taken in for questioning.

The man now in custody, Nkosikhona Gumbi, 32, is believed to be the driver of the getaway vehicle that was used by the group as they fled the scene after shooting Dr Koboka inside his surgery in Diepkloof, Soweto, on Friday afternoon. The armed men had entered the surgery and proceeded to the doctor’s consultation room where they shot the doctor. He was affectionately known as the “People’s Doctor”.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said Gumbi is charged with murder as an accessory after the fact as he was the man that drove the vehicle that helped the killers to flee from the scene.

A video of the incident shows a white Toyota Quantum leaving the surgery after the shooting.

On Saturday, police released a statement saying that they had arrested three men aged 23, 28 and 33.

After probing by the Sowetan, police are now saying they actually took the three men for question.

“When a case is opened, it is the mandate of the police to investigate such a case and follow up on any information that can assist with the investigation. In this instance, information was followed up and the three were brought in for questioning leading to the arrest of Gumbi who was positively linked to the scene,” said spokesperson Col Dimakatso Sello in a text.

In an earlier incident on March 16, armed men entered Dr Koboka’s surgery and robbed patients of their cellphones. Dr Koboka was saved by a patient who ran into his consultation room and he used a table to block the door, stopping the robbers from entering.

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According to staff members, just after fleeing with people’s cellphones, one of the patients told Dr Koboka that he knew one of the robbers. He allegedly dashed out in his vehicle and came back with the man, accompanied by police, the same day. Dr Koboka then installed cameras in his surgery, which captured his murder last week.

Sello said: “The suspect arrested for the business robbery was released as the court declined to place a docket on the court roll. For further details kindly contact NPA.”

Mjonondwane confirmed that the matter could not be placed on the court roll because of insufficient evidence.

According to the family, there were two attempted robberies at Dr Koboka’s surgery last year.

Neighbours told Sowetan that last year he asked them to watch over him when he locked up every night.

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