Rustenburg –The SA Defence Force (SANDF) shot dead a man when occupants of a vehicle fired at them near the Mozambique border, Mpumalanga police said.
The SANDF intercepted the four vehicles heading to the border at 3am on Tuesday.
"According to the report, the SANDF members were doing their routine patrol duties when they spotted a suspicious convoy of vehicles which was believed to have been heading to Mozambique at that time of the day.
"It is said that abruptly the occupants of the said vehicles in the convoy started shooting towards the SANDF members who then reportedly fired back. One male person, believed to have been an occupant of one of the vehicles was fatally wounded. However, the other suspects managed to flee into the darkness," said spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.
All the four vehicles, two Toyota legend 50 bakkies, a Toyota Fortuner and a Toyota Hilux bakkie were reported as stolen at Lyttleton and Florida in Gauteng as well as at Pienaar in Mpumalanga.
"The police are investigating an inquest case in relation to the said incident and the deceased has not been identified as yet. Meanwhile, the alleged occupants of the recovered vehicles are still at large," he said.
Mpumalanga provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, has welcomed the interception and recovery of four vehicles near the borderline of South Africa and Mozambique.
Meanwhile, the Hawks said seven people arrested for stealing railway tracks, were sentenced to seven years imprisonment each at the Camperdown Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Thembinkosi Ngema, 40, Nhlakanipho Nkhwanazi, 33, Njabulo Ncube, 32, Mandla Mpanza, 45, Sipho Nkhwanazi, 49, Mlamuli Mntungwana, 38, and Sabelo Mathola, 32, were arrested in the early hours of January 12 2022, after security guards stopped three suspicious vehicles along the Manderston Road, between Camperdown and Richmond, with the help of local police.
"The vehicles were searched and pieces of railway tracks were found loaded. The Pietermaritzburg based Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team was called in to process the scene. The group was consequently charged with tampering with essential infrastructure and possession of suspected stolen property," said Hawks spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha.
"The group pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, of which three years thereof is suspended for five years provided they do not commit a similar crime during the period of suspension.
"All seven were further declared unfit to possess firearms in the future. Three light-delivery vehicles, a Toyota Hilux, Mahindra and a Ford Ranger that were used in the commission of crime have since been referred to Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) for a retention order," Captain Ramovha said.