Soldier and bogus soldier arrested ahead of presidential inauguration


Defence Intelligence is – along with other law enforcement agencies – investigating what is being called infiltration of a national defence force unit before last month’s presidential inauguration.

The SA National Defence Force (SANDF) said a company commander at 21 SA Infantry Battalion was arrested and appeared in court in connection with the bogus clearing-in of a suspect believed to be Thapelo Mokgosi (29).

Weekend publications City Press and Rapport have it the arrests could be part of a conspiracy, possibly targeting top politicians and even President Cyril Ramaphosa. Police are searching for two more suspects.

Mokgosi was picked up by an alert personnel clerk at Thaba Tshwane when he attempted to clear-in two weeks ahead of the presidential inauguration at Pretoria’s Loftus Versfeld stadium. The official SANDF version is the Military Police Division arrested and charged a soldier for threatening national security as well as abetting a civilian to impersonate a soldier on 17 May.

“The arrest follows vigilant actions by members of Tshwane Regiment who suspected malfeasance and unprocedural behaviour by a member and informed their superiors as well as the Military Police.  A concerted investigation was initiated which led to the arrests and exposed the suspects’ ill-intentions,” according to a national defence force statement.

Charges of being a threat to national security and impersonating an SANDF member have been laid and the investigation is ongoing. “Further leads are under investigation and more arrests are expected,” Brigadier General Mafi Mgobozi said.