PRETORIA - The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, General Khehla John Sitole has condemned the attack on three police members that were shot and injured during a foiled cash in transit heist in Rustenburg, North West province yesterday evening, 9 May 2019. A security officer and a bystander were also injured during the incident.
Meanwhile in the Eastern Cape, the police managed to arrest one suspect for an attempted CIT robbery that occurred in King George Street in Ngqeleni near Mthatha yesterday just after midday.
The incident in the North West occurred at about 18:00 in Watsonia Avenue. It is alleged that the armoured vehicle was rammed off the road by a blue Peugeot and subsequently attacked with explosives whilst the security officers were still inside. At that stage the police members on patrol responded to the scene and a shootout with the suspects ensued which led to the suspects abandoning the robbery and fleeing the scene empty handed in three vehicles, two bakkies and a sedan.
It was discovered that a member of the community, a 62-year-old woman, was struck by a stray bullet. She was rushed to hospital for medical attention. One of the security officers also sustained injuries during the commotion.
While fleeing the scene, the suspects came across a marked police vehicle in Bethlehem Street and fired multiple shots at the vehicle, which resulted in three members sustaining injuries.
Two of the members are reported to be stable whilst the third member was airlifted to a hospital in Johannesburg, Gauteng in a critical condition. The three injured members are attached to Division Operational Response Services in Pretoria.
In another incident that occurred in the Eastern Cape, it is alleged that the security officers had just collected money from a local shop. As they were driving off, they noticed that their vehicle was being shot at and they immediately returned fire. One of the suspects sustained a gunshot wound while the other suspects managed to flee the scene. The police recovered a handgun with rounds of ammunition at the scene and the suspect is currently in hospital under police guard.
The respective provinces have instituted the 72 Hour Activation Plan which entails mobilising critical resources including members from Crime Intelligence, Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations and seasoned Organised Crime Detectives to hunt down the perpetrators of these heinous crimes.
The National Commissioner has wished the injured police members, security officer and the community member a speedy recovery. The attack on police and law abiding citizens of this country has to be strongly condemned. These members, the security officer and a community member were attacked by criminals who have no regard for human life. We as the police, together with the community at large, have to continue working together to combat lawlessness and crimes that serve to instil fear in our country, said General Sitole who went on to commend the bravery of the security officers that managed to stand their ground and foil the robbery. .
The Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations is investigating both cases and the Eastern Cape suspect will be appearing in court soon.
Source: South African Police Service