General Cele praises police officials for thwarting farm robbery
4 Jul 2011
The National Police Commissioner, General Bheki, has praised police officers from the National Intervention Unit (NIU) for their efforts in preventing a potentially fatal farm robbery last night.
Members from the NIU responded to information of a possible farm robbery in the Eston area just outside Pietermaritzburg. At approximately 10pm last night a group of armed men were attempting to force open the main gate to the farm when the NIU members confronted them and demanded their instant surrender. Instead, a shootout ensued between police and the suspects who resulted in five suspects being shot dead and two escaping. One of the two suspects was later arrested but the seventh one is still at large.
Police initially recovered six handguns from the deceased. Later the sixth suspect was seen emerging from a nearby bush by security guards and he was arrested with a gunshot wound to his leg. The seventh suspect was also shot dead when he got involved in a shootout by security guards. A seventh firearm was recovered. The firearms will be sent for ballistic testing to establish whether they were used to commit other crimes. Meanwhile, it has emerged that some of these suspects were being sought for a spate of business robberies in and around the Pietermaritzburg, Durban, Pinetown, Richmond, Mariannhill, areas. We are also currently investigating their possible involvement in some murder cases as well.
“These suspects chose to open fire on police officers rather than to surrender and by raising and firing on our police, five of the gang of thugs were fatally wounded. I am elated that my officers emerged unscathed,” said General Bheki Cele. “I should imagine that this incident would serve as a further reminder that our police officers will not take kindly to being shot at,” warned Cele.“It also proves that we are prepared to protect our clients, the citizens of South Africa, both in urban and rural areas. The fact that detectives have so far recovered six firearms from the gang is indicative that they were intent on violence and I am relieved that the innocent people residing on the farm were spared any type of atrocity.”
Detectives are still examining the crime scene.
Collonel Vishnu Naidoo
Cell: 082 567 4153
Tel: 012 400 6579 /6629 /6576
Source: South African Police Service
Issued by: South African Police Service
4 Jul 2011
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