By Nqobile Tshili
Two suspected armed robbers from St Joseph, Matabeleland South and another robber yet to be identified, were shot dead by South African Police who intercepted a cash-in-transit heist on Tuesday morning.
The incident occurred in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga.
Busani Ndebele (46) and Nothini Nkomo whose age was not immediately confirmed, were two of the three robbers who were shot and killed by the South African Police Service (SAPS) when they exchanged fire with the armed robbers.
Ndebele and Nkomo were confirmed Zimbabweans from St Joseph in Matobo District.
Matobo Ward 9 councillor, Auto Ncube, yesterday confirmed the death of Ndebele and Nkomo.
“We have just received information that two people were shot dead in South Africa. One of them is Busani Ndebele while the other is Nothini Nkomo who are just neighbours here in St Joseph. We are told that they were shot while executing an armed robbery in Mpumalanga, South Africa. We have their pictures circulating this side showing them lying in a pool of blood with cash on their side,” said Clr Ncube.
He said the community was saddened by their death while noting that crime does not pay.
Clr Ncube said Ndebele is a 2018 elections losing Zapu candidate in the same ward.
“We want to urge our people to look for jobs when they go to neighbouring countries like South Africa as opposed to resorting to crime.
“Crime has never been the solution so we appeal especially to our young people leaving the country to seek greener pastures to return home if they fail to secure jobs,” said Clr Ncube.
In a statement on Tuesday, SAPS confirmed the robbery but did not provide details on who the perpetrators were.
“A police officer has been wounded and three suspects have been shot and killed while two other suspects were also wounded during a shootout between members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and a group of armed robbers this morning. During an intelligence-driven operation, members from various disciplines of the South African Police Service responded to a cash-in-transit heist in progress at a Post Office in Bushbuckridge,” said SAPS.
It said cops pounced on the robbers as they were still offloading money from cash-in-transit vehicle while holding security officers hostage
“The multidisciplinary SAPS team intercepted them leading to a high speed car chase. This led to a shootout between the suspects and the police. Three suspects were shot and killed, another two of the suspects who were shot and wounded have been transported to a nearby health facility under police guard,” it said.
SAPS said the armed robbery robbers had carried their raid using hijacked Toyota Hilux and a silver Mercedes Benz.
“In the process, police managed to recover some of the stolen money, two pistols and three vehicles which include the hijacked Toyota Hilux, a Ford Ranger and Toyota Fortuna that were used by the suspects and were later found to be both fitted with false registration number plates,” said SAPS.
“It is unfortunate that during the shootout a member of the SAPS, sustained a gunshot wound. The member has been taken to the nearest medical facility where he is receiving medical treatment.”
SAPS said they were looking for the remaining armed robbers who include some who were injured in the shootout. The Chronicle