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Tshwane - A woman was shot twice in the arm and one pistol-whipped in the head when armed men robbed a group of visiting students and professors from the University of Florida in the US.

The incident occurred on Monday at the Viva Foundation School in Lusaka, Mamelodi East.  

Speaking to Enca, one of the witnesses said around six armed suspects ordered everyone including Grades Ones to lie down as they were robbing the students.

“The whole incident took about 10 minutes or so and they [robbers] were out of the front gate and then we heard shots,” he said.

According to the witness, a female passerby was shot two times on her arm. He added that one of the ladies at the school was also injured after she was hit by a gun on her head while trying to run away to hide some valuables.

It is believed that the students are linked to the University of Pretoria Community Engagement programme in the Faculty of Education.

Brigadier Mathapelo Peters from the Gauteng Provincial head office said allegations were that the armed men accosted the visiting US student visitors and robbed them of personal belongings including: laptops; cellphones; cameras; passports and plane tickets; bags and US Dollars.

She added that an employee of the school was assaulted by robbers and a passerby was struck by a stray bullet as suspects allegedly fired shots randomly, while getting away in a white Toyota Quantum.

Gauteng Commissioner of Police, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, has condemned the incident and tasked a team of detectives to work around the clock and mobilise all necessary resources towards the apprehension of the suspects.

The suspects who fled the scene in a white Toyota Quantum with no registration number are still at large and Gauteng police have launched a massive manhunt.

Meanwhile, Curro has dismissed claims that their learners were among those robbed at the school after it was initially reported that a bus transporting pupils from Brooklyn and Curro private schools was robbed at gunpoint and that one pupil was shot and injured.

Head of Marketing and Communications at Curro, Mari Lategan, dismissed the reports saying they were factually incorrect and assured parents that none of their learners were in that bus.

“It has come to our attention that factually incorrect media reports are doing the rounds, indicating that Curro learners were involved and injured during a robbery and shooting in Mamelodi, Tshwane, yesterday,” Lategan said.

Police are appealing to anyone with positive information that could assist with the apprehension of the suspect to contact their nearest police station or contact the Crime Stop Number 08600 10111.

The Star