Eight robbery suspects to appear in court for robbery, possession of unlicensed firearms and stolen property

NELSPRUIT - The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has appreciated the collaborative efforts displayed by members of the police from Belfast and Delmas as well as K9 Unit from Brakpan (in Gauteng Province) which culminated into a total of eight arrested suspects, aged between 33 and 50 respectively. The suspects are faced with charges ranging from business robbery, possession of suspected stolen property, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition. They are expected to appear for the second time at the Belfast Magistrate's Court today, 17 June 2022 after briefly appearing last week Friday, 10 June 2022 where their cases were postponed for further investigation until today.

The arrest of the suspects emanates from a robbery incident at Belfast on 08 June 2022 in which a group of heavily armed suspects allegedly carried out a business robbery. On the said day it is reported that the suspects allegedly got away with two pistols, a shotgun, two vehicles, a Toyota GD6 double cab bakkie, a Mahindra bakkie, a water pump, a diesel generator, a diesel pump, and a diesel bozer, as well as personal items that they robbed their victims including their cell phones.

The collaborative team, comprising of members of the SAPS from Delmas as well as Belfast and Brakpan worked with speed and mobilized their resources in order to track down the suspects.

The men and women in blue swiftly made a breakthrough on the same day as the hijacked vehicles were entering Delmas area. They initially arrested three suspects thereby recovering three unlicensed firearms with ammunition as well as made the recovery of the hijacked bakkies. This success by the members was followed by the arrest of two suspects that were apprehended on the same day as they tried to get away after getting a lift from a certain minibus.

If that was not enough, the astute members closed the net for them and went to a certain house in Delmas where they cornered three more suspects that day, retrieving two unlicensed firearms and ammunition which were reportedly found in their possession. More items, including personal belongings of their victims were also seized by the Investigation team and these items are believed to be crucial in the case against the suspects. The police are further convinced that the recovered firearms could have been used in the said robbery and more charges may be added against the suspects as the investigation continues. The probe is at a crucial stage and by releasing their names this might jeopardise the case as police believe that there other outstanding suspects to this case which are still to be brought to book. Preliminary investigation has thus far revealed that one of the suspects is a security guard who was employed at the mine where the robbery was staged.

The hard work by these dedicated members was not taken for granted but was much appreciated by the Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, who uttered these words. "It is with great honour to serve the public with such zealous members of the police who are determined to do whatever they can in their power in an effort to create and maintain a safe space for all citizens" said the General.

Source: South African Police Service