Four people were killed in a shoot-out with police in the Bram Fischer area of Soweto on Thursday afternoon, after a foiled cross-pavement robbery at a filling station.
According to police spokesperson Col Athlenda Mathe, the incident took place about 2.30pm when an intelligence-driven multidisciplinary team, led by members from crime intelligence (CI) and the national intervention unit (NIU), responded to a planned attack on a cash van.
“The team of SAPS members noticed two suspicious-looking vehicles after the CIT vehicle into the filling station where security officials were to perform their daily duties of collecting monies from the ATMs at the filling station,” Mathe said.
She says after noticing the police, the two vehicles with a group of armed robbers made an about-turn, resulting in a high-speed chase.
“Hot on their heels, the team followed the vehicles to an identified address in the area where a shoot-out ensued,” she said.
During the shoot-out, four suspects were shot dead while other suspects fled the scene. Police recovered two rifles and a pistol.
Mathe says the national police commissioner, Gen Khehla Sitole, has hailed the vigilance of the joint team.
“The vigilance of this team ought to be commended for executing our mandate as the SAPS without fear or favour. This incident should send a stern warning to all involved in all forms of criminality, especially violent crime, to steer clear of crime. We are hoping to apprehend the remaining suspects who managed to flee the scene with the implementation of the 72-hour activation plan to mobilise all resources.”
Mathe says the possibility of linking the suspects to a spate of violent crimes including the recent cash-in-transit heists in and around Gauteng cannot be ruled out.
Members of the public who may have seen or know the whereabouts of the suspects are urged to contact their nearest police station or call the Crime Stop Hotline on 0860010111.