Alleged suspect fatally shot during a shootout with police, three others arrested

NELSPRUIT -The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has welcomed the arrest of three alleged hijackers, aged between 23 and 45 at Verena in the evening of Thursday, 21 April 2022. Meanwhile the fourth suspect was fatally shot during a shootout with the police. Three firearms as well as a hijacked vehicle were also recovered by members of the Tactical Response Team (TRT).

According to the information at police disposal, a group of armed suspects allegedly hijacked a grey VW Polo 6 at Vosman on the said day around 20h30 where the male driver, his wife and child were held at gunpoint. It is said that the suspects then dropped the wife and child few kilometres away from the place where the vehicle was hijacked meanwhile the male victim was kept at the boot of the Polo.

The matter was brought to the attention of the authorities where a tracker company as well as Tactical Response Team (TRT) from Cape Town (deployed in Mpumalanga) assembled forces in pursuit of the suspects. It is said that the suspects were also driving a white Opel Corsa and they took the R544 Road in Hertzog near Verena and at around 22H00 a shootout ensued between the suspects and members of the TRT where one male suspect succumbed. Two suspects sustained some gunshot wounds and were taken to hospital under police guard but one suspect came out without visible injuries.

A total of three suspects (including the two injured ones) were arrested. The hijacked VW Polo was also recovered with the Opel Corsa confiscated as well as three pistols seized from the possession of the suspects, who were charged for possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition. The suspect are linked to several incidents, including the one where members at Siyabuswa were attacked in March 2022, a car hijacking at Siyabuswa earlier this month as well as an attack of members of the police at Witbank in February 2021. The suspects are also linked to an attack on SAPS members at Kwamhlanga earlier this month (April 2022). More charges may be added upon the arrested suspects, including the hijacking incident at Vosman, as the investigation continues. The three suspects are expected to appear before court soon.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela was also encouraged with the recovery of the three firearms.

Source: South African Police Service