Rustenburg-Ten people linked to a robbery at Malamulele police station and spate of automated teller machine (ATM) bombings in Limpopo have been arrested.
Provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said the men were arrested on Wednesday, following an intensive investigation.
"Seven of the suspects were found in their hideout at Medinyeng Village near Kgapane under the Bolobedu policing area outside Tzaneen, Mopani District and the other three were arrested at a lodge in the Dwarsloop area outside Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga province. This after information was received about these suspects intending to commit an ATM bombing in Mpumalanga province."
He said preliminary police investigations have positively linked the men with several ATM bombings and armed robberies in Limpopo, including the recent incident at a filling station near the Capricorn tollgate along the N1 North, where a police warrant officer was shot and wounded in the process.
"They were also positively linked with the incident where a police sergeant attached to Botlokwa police station was robbed of his service pistol, R5 rifle and bulletproof vest.
"The team managed to recover a total of eleven firearms, ammunition and explosives. Some of the firearms were stolen during the attack on Malamulele police station."
The Malamulele police station was attacked by heavily armed men on November 21 in 2021. They stormed the community service centre (formerly the charge office), robbed police officers of their firearms and locked them in the back of a police van.
"They then proceeded to take R4 rifles, pump guns, pistols and ammunition from the safe and left the station after locking the gate. The suspects then proceeded to rob the nearby businesses," Brigadier Mojapelo said.
He said ammunition, police bullet proof vests, explosives, illicit cigarettes, blasting cartridges, overalls, balaclavas, security uniforms, cash and shoes were also recovered during the arrest.
"Two motor vehicles, a Toyota bakkie and Mercedes Benz which were reportedly used to commit these crimes were also seized. Police investigations have already begun to circulate them to determine whether they are stolen or not."
The men aged between 30 and 48 were expected to appear in different Magistrates Courts across the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces. They are facing charges of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, possession of explosives, conspiracy to commit crimes, attempted murders, robbery with aggravated circumstances, car-jackings and an attack on a police station.