PRETORIA – Eyewitness News can reveal that the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) member arrested following a robbery in Limpopo this week is the personal driver for joint operations chief, General Barney Hlatshwayo.
The police arrested Corporal Jacob Marakalla in the Vhembe district on Tuesday after receiving information about suspects who were planning a cash-in-transit heist. Instead, they allegedly robbed a local business.
It has also emerged that Marakalla is currently on trial on a charge of attempted murder for shooting a motorcyclist in the chest in an apparent road rage incident last year.
Despite being on trial for attempted murder, Corporal Marakalla remained on duty, and continued to provide VIP protection services to one of the most senior national defence force officials.
EWN has established that Marakalla is the VIP protection driver for joint operations chief, General Hlatshwayo.
It is understood that the general is out of the country at the moment.
The corporal was arrested on Wednesday while driving the high-powered VIP protection BMW used to chauffeur Hlatswayo, complete with military license plates and blue lights.
The SANDF has not explained why Marakalla remained on duty while he was on trial for attempted murder but has confirmed it has now initiated the process to have him discharged.