Flying squad members shot, suspects sought

The police in Mpumalanga are appealing to the public to assist with information that may lead to the arrest of suspects who shot and injured police officials in Emalahleni.

The shooting took place during the early hours of yesterday, 01 December 2014, at a filling station in Emalahleni.

Middelburg Flying Squad members went to refuel their marked police vehicle when unknowingly interrupted gunmen trying to blow up an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) inside the filling station’s shop.

Two of the four police members that were in the vehicle, sustained gunshot wounds to their lower bodies and have been hospitalised.

A number of men armed with assault rifles opened fire at the police vehicle as soon it stopped to refuel. The police managed to return fire which prompted the assailants to flee the scene in a vehicle that looked like an Audi, leaving behind their accomplice who was hiding inside the shop.

The police called for backup and managed to arrest the suspect. The suspect was found in possession of a firearm and ammunition. One of the injured members’ firearm was robbed during the commotion as well as an undisclosed amount of money from the shop’s cash registers.

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Major General (Adv) Meshack Nogwanya expressed his concern with regard to the continued disregard of the lives of police officials by ruthless criminals.

“An attack on the police is an attack on the safety and security of the inhabitants of this country. I applaud the members even though they were ambushed but they managed to apply their survival tactics against the armed ATM bombers.

This is one of the kinds of organised gang and our members took the bull by its horn and fought back. I wish the injured members a speedy recovery,” said Major General (Adv) Nogwanya.

The 42-year-old arrested suspect is expected to appear before the Witbank Magistrate’s Court soon, facing charges of business robbery, four counts of attempted murder, possession of explosives, malicious damage to property relating to the police vehicle which was riddled with bullets, possession of firearm and ammunition.

A manhunt for the remaining suspects has been launched. Anyone with information is requested to contact Warrant Officer Zero Masango from the tracing team at 083 584 2491.

 
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