Former Hawks captain held over cash heist
Pretoria - A former captain of the Hawks has been arrested for his alleged involvement in a cash heist of R107 million in Mpumalanga.
Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the arrest of Bhekani Welcome Gcabashe related to the Mpumalanga Standard Bank, Barclays (First National Bank) and Volkskas (SBV) heist.
“The Hawks’ investigating team, assisted by members of the Task Force, arrested Gcabashe at his home in Bronkhorstspruit on Wednesday,” Mulaudzi said.
“Another team comprising the Technical Operations Management Section’s operatives also hit one of his lavish houses in Belfast. In both operations, members managed to seize items which would assist in the investigation.”
Gcabashe a former captain who was previously attached to the Mpumalanga Organised Crime Unit, resigned in 2011. He made a brief appearance in the Witbank Magistrate’s Court on Thursday and was granted R20 000 bail on condition that he hand over his passport, that he would not interfere with witnesses and report at the Bronkhorstspruit Police Station once a week.
Gcabashe’s arrest brings to 22 the number of suspects who have been arrested since the investigations started last year.
On 27 April 2014, an armed group raided an SBV depot in Witbank and stole almost R107 million after overpowering two guards and robbing them of their firearms.
The guards were kidnapped while the suspects continued disabling the alarm system and cutting open one of the safes with cutting torches. The suspects also allegedly kidnapped two guards who were supposed to relieve two others the following morning. The four guards were allegedly forced to drink a tainted concoction before they were dumped next to the Kromdraai road in Witbank.
All the suspects, including Gcabashe, would appear on 10 June.