Shootout between police, suspected CIT robbers leaves five dead

Police and private security officers fatally shot five alleged cash-in-transit (CIT) robbers following a gun battle in Tasbet Park in Witbank, Mpumalanga.

Gauteng police spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Mavela Masondo, said the shootout between the police and the suspects happened before midday on Wednesday.

The police and private security officers, according to Masondo, received information that a group of CIT robbers were en route to Mpumalanga.

“Information was also received about an attempted CIT robbery that had just occurred in Witbank. The team followed the suspects to a safe house in Tasbet Park,” said Masondo.

“While approaching the house, the suspects, who were already dispersing and driving in a Toyota Quantum, saw the police and started shooting.

“The police and private security officers retaliated, and five suspects were declared dead at the scene [after the shootout].”

Eight other suspects were arrested, while about nine others managed to flee. 

Rifles and stolen cars confiscated

Masondo said police confiscated five rifles (three AK 47s, an AR 15, and an R5), two pistols, and four vehicles.

Three of the vehicles – a Mazda CX5, an Audi Q5, and a Haval – were reportedly hijacked in Jeppe, Yeoville, and Rabie Ridge in Gauteng.

The fourth vehicle, a Mazda CX5, had its engine number tampered with.

Masondo said the suspects face charges of murder, attempted murder, and possession of prohibited and unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

They are also charged with CIT-related offences.

Police massacre a Mariannhill gang

In a separate incident early on Wednesday morning, nine suspected criminals were shot and killed during a shootout with police in Desai, Mariannhill. 

According to Colonel Robert Netshiunda, a KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, the provincial stabilisation team members operationalised intelligence regarding a group of 11 suspects who had been terrorising Mariannhill residents and the surrounding areas.

According to Netshiunda, the suspects were on the loose after they allegedly gang-raped a teenage girl and forced the victim’s mother to witness the ordeal while the house was being robbed.

“They were also on the police’s radar for serious and violent crimes in the area.

“When police caught up with them, intelligence uncovered that the suspects were plotting to execute a hit on someone,” said Netshiunda. 

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