Suspects nabbed in Limpopo after business robbery, attack on police officers
Pretoria – National police commissioner General Khehla John Sitole on Thursday welcomed the arrest of four suspects believed to be part of a group responsible for the attack on police officers and a business robbery.
The business robbery happened in Apel, near Lebowakgomo, in Limpopo on Sunday.
“The Limpopo provincial police implemented the 72-hour activation plan immediately after the attack on four police members who were on patrol at the Apel shopping centre in two vehicles.
"The members were attacked by the heavily armed suspects who had just robbed a filling station,” said SAPS spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili.
Three officers were wounded and robbed of four firearms. The suspects also made off with an undisclosed amount of money which they stole from the filing station.
“The three police officers were hospitalised, two for treatment of gunshot wounds and the other as a result of having been assaulted. Two members have since been discharged and the member still in hospital is reported to be in a stable condition,” said Muridili.
“The necessary resources needed to investigate and trace the suspects were mobilised, including the province’s crime intelligence members.
“In a matter of a few hours after the incident, intelligence led the police to Mohlaletse village, where they initially arrested two suspects and recovered three vehicles.”
On Thursday morning, Muridili said the crime intelligence unit gave information on the location of two more suspects to the police tracking team and highway patrol.
“The suspects were found at their hideout in Moroke village in the Mecklenburg policing precinct. During the arrest, the police also recovered three of the firearms which were taken from the police officers during the robbery,” she said.
SAPS preliminary investigation have so far revealed that the suspects arrested on Thursday, aged 24 and 28, were wanted in connection with several business robberies in both the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces.
“They will be joining their accomplices, 25-year-old Thulani Maseko and Moses Zulu ,aged 36, who are currently in custody awaiting their formal bail application scheduled for 2 July 2020.
"Maseko and Zulu have been charged with four counts of attempted murder, robbery of firearms, business robbery and four counts of malicious injury to property,” said Muridili.
She said apart from the array of charges, including four counts of attempted murder, robbery of firearms and business robbery, the pair arrested on Thursday face an additional charge of contravening the Immigration Act.
Sitole commended the SAPS teams for working around the clock to ensure that the people responsible for the attack on police and for the commission of the crimes in Limpopo are traced and apprehended.
“I am glad that four of the people allegedly responsible for undermining the authority of the State are facing the full might of the law.
"Investigators of this case will be opposing bail in court and they must also not rest until they recover the one remaining firearm”, said Sitole.
He also wished the police officer in hospital a speedy recovery.
African News Agency (ANA)