Spate of arrests keeps local court very busy
EMALAHLENI– Three more suspects are expected to appear in the Witbank Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, July 23 on a number of charges, including possession of unlicensed firearms and suspected stolen vehicles, as well as armed robbery. Two others have already appeared on the same charges.
The suspects were arrested over the weekend in two separate incidents in Emalahleni. In the first incident on Friday, July 19, three suspects - of whom one was armed - stormed into a medical practice and robbed patients of personal belongings such as cellphones and cash. An off-duty police officer, who happened to be waiting outside the premises for his wife, witnessed the robbery and managed to arrest two of the suspects. He confiscated the firearm and one of the stolen cellphones.
In the second incident yesterday (July 21), police received a tip-off about a gathering at a house in Extension 8, allegedly to plan a robbery. Upon arrival at the location, police stumbled upon 10 armed men and a shootout ensued. A suspect was killed and a police officer sustained minor injuries in the crossfire. Police arrested three suspects and recovered four more firearms - an R5 rifle, a revolver and two pistols. Five stolen vehicles, of which three had been robbed in Gauteng and two in Witbank, were also confiscated.
Another firearm - a pistol - was recovered today, after one of the suspects pointed its location out to police. The first two suspects, Vusi Nkosi and Nazared Maseko (both 25), appeared in the local Magistrate’s Court today and were remanded in custody. The matter was postponed to July 29 for their formal bail application.
Police are appealing to the community to assist in the apprehension of another six suspects linked to these two incidents. Anyone with information on their whereabouts can contact Col Solomon Thobejane on 079-891-3342 or phone the SAPS Crime Stop number, 08600-10111.
The Provincial Commissioner for Police in Mpumalanga, Lt Gen Zuma, commended the dedicated SAPS members for the seizure of a total of 18 illegal firearms since Thursday, July 18. He encouraged communities to continue cooperating with law-enforcement agencies to create safer and more secure living environments.
Editor: Anchen Coetzee
Subeditor: Lynette Brink
Brig Leonard Hlathi
Image: AIT Stock