The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has launched an investigation after a hijacking suspect died after exchanging gunfire with police on Wednesday afternoon.
The other suspects, Mozambican nationals of which two are cousins aged 30 and 35, were arrested.
“Two more people died but their nationality will be known after we conclude with postmoterms tomorrow [Friday],” said the Ipid in a statement.
This after an intelligence driven operation was conducted by the Hawks’ Tactical Operational Management Section assisted by Tracker Connect, Gauteng Crime Intelligence, SAPS Highway Patrol, GTP Saturation Unit, ICB Insurance Crime Bureau and Badboyz Security in Roodepoort, searching for hijacking suspects who are targeting VW Polo vehicles.
According to Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase, the team discovered that the suspects were in motion and intercepted them on the side of the road immediately after allegedly hijacking a Polo.
“As the members approached the suspects, the suspects greeted them with a hail of bullets, which led to an exchange of gunfire that resulted in three suspects fatally wounded,” said Nkwalase.
Two suspects, aged between 25 and 30, were arrested and the injured owner of the Polo, who was held in the vehicle, was rescued. He was taken to hospital for medical attention.
Three firearms with ammunition, cellphones and heavy duty gloves were recovered.
The hijacking suspects will be charged with murder, attempted murder, carjacking, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition. They will appear in Johannesburg Magistrate’s court on Friday.
A preliminary investigation revealed the suspects are also linked to more than 18 hijacking cases committed in the Gauteng areas.
The syndicate members were reportedly using a Golf GTi during the commission of crime while in previous occasions they used a Toyota Corolla.