JOHANNESBURG, May 23 – Five men, aged between 25 and 33, were arrested after a shoot-out with Nelspruit police around the Mkheyi area, in Pienaar , Mpumalanga police said on Tuesday.
Spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said that the five were caught in a cross fire with police on Monday, at around 8.30pm.
“This spiralled after the police in conjunction with the Netstar Tracking company as well as a private security company, tracked down a white stolen Ford Ranger. When the suspect saw the law enforcers, they sped off and that gave rise to a chase as well as a shootout between the law enforcers and the criminals, leading to one of the suspects shot dead in the process,” he said.
“During the chase, the suspect’s vehicle lost control, plunged into a wall and all the suspects were injured. They were then arrested and taken to hospital under police guard. A firearm together with ammunition were seized at the scene and it will be sent to ballistics for further investigation.”
Hlathi said the police discovered that the vehicle was linked to a number of cases which were committed in and around Nelspruit, including a recent business robbery which occurred in the early hours of Monday morning, at a filling station in Rocky’s Drift near White River.
He said that in that robbery, five men held the staff at gunpoint, and then demanded keys to a drop safe. They then took packs of cigarettes and fled the scene leaving a bag full of explosives behind.
“The four remaining suspects face charges of carjacking, business robbery, possession of suspected stolen property, possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition as well as other misdemeanours relevant to their actions. As soon as the suspects are declared fit, they will be taken to court. However currently, they will appear in absentia.”