A suspected robber who allegedly shot and wounded three female police officers has been arrested and is expected to appear in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
CAPE TOWN – A suspected robber who allegedly shot and wounded three female police officers has been arrested and is expected to appear in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court today.
The Serious and Violent Crimes: Provincial Investigations unit arrested the suspect, who faces business robbery and attempted murder charges.
The 32-year-old was arrested in Browns Farm, Philippi on Thursday, seven months after he and and a gang of thugs allegedly raided a store at the Philippi Junxion Mall on June 12.
Western Province police spokesperson Colonel Andre Traut said: “In a bid to evade arrest, the suspects fired several shots at the police members, wounding three female constables and narrowly missing the male constable who was the driver.
“He managed to drive to a nearby hospital with his three wounded colleagues, where two were reportedly in a very serious condition. The members are aged between 26 and 32.”
Traut added that the suspects, estimated to be a group of six or more, fled in a silver Opel LDV with false registration plates and had yet to be apprehended.
Police spokesperson FC van Wyk explained: “Sterling investigations by members attached to the Provincial Investigations unit led to the arrest of a 32-year-old suspect on charges of business robbery and four charges of attempted murder.
“On June 12, at 8.10am, a group of males held the staff members of a chain retail store in a shopping mall in Nyanga at gunpoint, and demanded the keys to the safe.
“The manager of the store shouted for help, and the suspects fled the scene on foot with cash from the tills.
“As the suspects fled the scene, a marked Nyanga SAPS vehicle entered the mall parking lot and the suspects immediately fired shots at them. Three female members were seriously wounded and were hospitalised.”
Van Wyk said further investigation by members of the Provincial Investigations unit, accompanied by the Provincial Tracking Team, steered them to an address in Browns Farm, Philippi, on January 11 where the 32-year-old male suspect was arrested.
“The suspect will appear in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court this (Monday) morning. Investigations continue to identify the outstanding suspects.”
Dumisani Qwebe of the Nyanga Community Policing Forum (CPF) said the hard work of the police is paying off.
Dumisani said: “I remember the morning when the officers were under attack and the fact that they arrested a suspect shows that the police have done great work in finding him.
“We applaud their work, and we say no [to] bail.”