JOHANNESBURG – A 36-year-old parolee who was sought for cases of attempted murder, robbery, and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition in the Masemola policing area outside Lebowakgomo has finally been arrested, the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Limpopo said on Saturday.
The suspect, who was released on parole during September this year, allegedly shot and wounded two people at about 10pm on September 12 in a tavern at Maroge village after an argument with one of the victims. He thereafter disappeared, SAPS Limpopo spokesperson Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said.
The incident was reported to police and members of Masemola police station and the SAPS Limpopo highway patrol team, joined by correctional services officers, launched a manhunt. The suspect was eventually cornered and arrested at his home in Mahlakole section on Friday.
During his arrest, police recovered a pistol, magazine, and 16 rounds of ammunition. The man, believed to be responsible for a series of violent crimes in and around the area, could possibly also be linked to more cases, including rapes, Ngoepe said.
Meanwhile, two other suspects, aged 21 and 23, were arrested in Bela-Bela during a sting joint operation comprising of various police units and supported by local community members along the Eerbewoon road in the Modimolle policing precinct.
“This milestone achievement was made following a business robbery incident that occurred at one of the retail stores in Bela-Bela CBD on Friday 30 October 2020. It was alleged that four armed suspects attacked this store, robbed them [of] bags full of cellphones, and fled the scene with a getaway car,” Ngoepe said.
Police were notified and responded accordingly. In the process, the police officers spotted a suspicious motor vehicle matching the description of the getaway car and gave chase.
“When these suspects noticed that the police were on their heels they drove into the nearest resort, abandoned the vehicle, and the occupants ran towards different directions on foot leaving the driver behind.
“This driver, and the other one who was trying to hide, were immediately arrested with the support from the resort residents. The two suspects are from Temba in the Hammanskraal area, Gauteng province,” he said.
During the arrest, police confiscated the getaway vehicle and three large bags containing cellphones with an estimated value of over R400,000, believed to be some of the goods taken during the robbery.
“The other suspects are still on the run, but a manhunt is under way. The arrested suspects will be facing charges of business robbery and possession of suspected stolen property,” Ngoepe said.
Limpopo police commissioner Lt-Gen Nneke Ledwaba commended the police and correctional services officers and the resort residents in Modimolle for “relentlessly joining hands in the fight against crime as part of the undying spirit of partnership policing”.
The suspects would appear in the Nebo and Bela-Bela Magistrates’ Courts respectively on Monday. Police investigations were continuing, Ngoepe said.
– African News Agency (ANA)