Nine arrested while travelling to rob a shopping mall in Mpumalanga
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Pretoria - Seven people were arrested by the SAPS in Mpumalanga while they were allegedly on a mission to commit a business robbery at a furniture store in KwaMhlanga.
Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said the seven suspects, aged between 32 and 47, were nabbed on Sunday afternoon at Phola Mall in KwaMhlanga.
“According to the (SAPS) report, police received information about a possible business robbery that was allegedly planned to be carried out at a furniture business. Police acted with speed to prevent that from happening,” said Mohlala.
“They (police officers from KwaMhlanga crime intelligence and members of Siyabuswa visible policing unit) co-ordinated their resources and went out looking for the suspects. They then spotted two vehicles, a Toyota Etios with false registration number plates and a VW Kombi with seven suspects who were apparently armed.”
A shoot-out between the suspects and police ensued, and two of the assailants were shot and injured.
“The seven were then arrested and the astute members recovered a pistol with ammunition from them. The injured suspects were taken to hospital for medical treatment where one was discharged and another still recovering under police guard,” said Mohlala.
The rest of the suspects were detained and police also confiscated the two vehicles, which will form part of the ongoing investigation.
The arrested men are due to appear before the KwaMhlanga Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, facing charges of possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, attempted murder, possession of suspected stolen vehicles as well as conspiracy to commit robbery.
Provincial commissioner of police in Mpumalanga Lieutenant-General Semakaleng Manamela applauded the “excellent efforts” displayed by the police officers who arrested the seven.
"This shows that our battle against crime is winnable and we will continue to take away those firearms that are a danger to our communities,” said Manamela.