Police kill four suspects in gun battle with ‘army’ of suspects
Police Minister Bheki Cele described the scene as a war zone, saying the group of armed suspects were 'prepared' to wreak havoc.
Police outside the premises where four suspects were shot and killed by police in Midrand, Johannesburg on 25 June 2021. Picture: Nigel Sibanda
Four suspects succumbed to gunshot wounds and 23 others were injured as police battled 27 heavily armed men in Midrand on Friday.
It is still not clear what the suspects had planned to do, but acting provincial police commissioner Tommy Mthombeni said they had gathered inside a house in Midrand.
Mthombeni said police received information that led them to the address where suspects had gathered.
He said they had been informed the suspects were planning a series of robberies around Gauteng.
“Upon arrival, the suspects started to shoot at the law enforcement agencies and they (the police) retaliated,” said Mthombeni.
“During that process, there were four fatalities and 23 suspects were surrounded and arrested.”
Mthombeni said the police found three rifles on the scene, including an AK 47 and two pistols.
“We have to indicate that over and above that we recovered four very powerful vehicles that had been hijacked in the province.”
Police Minister Bheki Cele rushed to the scene after the incident.
Cele described the scene as a war zone.
He said the suspects came from different parts of the country and others from neighbouring countries.
“I have seen an army here. They are an international group themselves,” Cele said.
“We have people from KZN, Gauteng, and Zimbabwe. They were prepared for this.
“Whatever they were going to do, it was going to be serious and have a big impact. These are people at war, for them to be 27 and armed means they were prepared to eliminate whatever was standing in their way,” Cele said.