File picture: SAPS Twitter

Durban - Police Minister Bheki Cele has commended the swift action by South African Police Service (SAPS) officers which led to nine alleged robbers being shot dead, one arrested, and 11 illegal firearms, explosives, and other items seized when officers followed up on information received and prevented a planned robbery in Isipingo in Durban in the early hours of Saturday morning.

"The police must be supported in the fight against dangerous and highly armed criminals. The call to halve violent crimes requires a dedicated workforce that will go out there and stamp the authority of the state," Cele said.  

Earlier, the SAPS in KwaZulu-Natal said that on Saturday morning, at 1.50am, police officers acted on intelligence-driven information about a planned robbery at a business premises in Isipingo in which the safes would be bombed. 

"The police officers placed themselves on duty and the suspects arrived. Immediately when they saw the police officers they fired shots. There was an exchange of gunfire. A total of seven suspects died at the scene and a 29-year-old suspect was arrested at the crime scene," Captain Nqobile Gwala said.

Three rifles, six pistols, explosives, and break-in implements were recovered from the deceased suspects. "One of the deceased suspects was wearing a pinafore."

While police officers were still busy at the scene, further gunshots were heard nearby. Two suspects opened fire at the police officers and there was another exchange of gunfire. Two suspects were declared dead at the scene. Two unlicensed firearms were found in their possession.

Cases of inquest, attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearms, possession of ammunition, possession of explosives, possession of break-in implements, and attempted robbery had been opened, Gwala said.

African News Agency/ANA