Meghan Botha (schoolgirl on the extreme right), whose sister was killed in Muldersdrift, joined local residents protesting outside the Krugerdorp Magistrate court earlier this year. Picture: Boxer Ngwenya

Johannesburg -

Muldersdrift residents can breathe a small sigh of relief after five suspects were arrested in connection with the spate of violent crimes in the area.

The suspects were arrested last week and held for robbery, kidnapping and possession of suspected stolen goods.

The men were arrested in the Diepsloot area after police traced R9 000 withdrawn from a stolen credit card to a pub in Diepsloot.

The arrest comes after a Muldersdrift family was allegedly robbed of R23 000 after returning home on December 17. They were robbed of R4 000.

The father was then kidnapped and forced to withdraw R10 000 at various ATMs, and his bank card was later used to buy alcohol worth about R9 000. The kidnappers abandoned him in Midrand.

The Star has been reporting on a series of crimes in the area.

The violence in the West Rand community increased rapidly between July and September.

One street in particular, Clinic Road, has been one of the hardest hit, with 93 percent of households on the street being targeted.

Three deaths and six attempted murders have occurred since the series of reports in The Star.

Dr Anne Biccard was shot at close range in June. Her husband was shot in the abdomen while they were being robbed.

In September, Alyssa Botha, 13, was shot dead after armed robbers came into her family home. Her father and sister were also shot.

On September 11, five men were arrested in Zwartkop and Diepsloot in connection with the murder of Alyssa, but were released three days later due to lack of evidence.

Three days later, Andre Jordaan, who lived just 500m from Alyssa’s house, was also shot in his home.

A few hours later, the police arrested three men believed to be linked to a syndicate involved in several incidents in the Muldersdrift and Honeydew areas.

Last month, Jacques Botha was shot in front of his toddler son and wife while his home was being robbed, and he died before reaching a hospital.

On the same night Botha died, three other people were also attacked.

The police claimed to have increased visibility in the area.

Earlier this month, Mupo Ndhlovu, 29, was shot dead by robbers on the farm where he worked.

Keston Banda, 46, who was also shot, was on life support following the shooting.

Many residents have chosen to move from the area, and those who have stayed feel like they are bound to be attacked.

Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the police were confident that serious and violent crimes in Muldersdrift would be solved following the latest round of arrests.

The suspects were also wanted for other crimes in Douglasdale, Ivory Park and Sandton.

The suspects were due to appear in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s Court today

“We are still investigating because we believe that more suspects are involved,” Dlamini said.

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The Star