Dozen arrested, dozen still sought after Dundee attack

2014-10-28 00:00

THERE is expected to be a strong police presence outside the Dundee Magistrate’s Court today as the alleged shooters involved in Sunday’s Victoria Street robbery face justice.

Police said 12 other gang members involved in the incident are still on the run.

They have launched a manhunt for the suspects, who are believed to be in the Vryheid area.

This comes after deafening shots cracked through the air of the quiet Midlands village in a wild-west shootout after the gang of more than 20 rifle-wielding men stormed a supermarket in Dundee on Sunday.

Police reacted swiftly after the group of assailants stormed the Pick and Win Supermarket on Victoria Street at around 9 am, taking an undisclosed amount of money before trying to flee the scene.

Warrant Officer Bruce Simpson and his reservist wife Corrie, who were nearby and were the first to respond to the scene, came under AK47 rifle fire as their van screeched to a stop outside the supermarket. They were both injured by glass shrapnel after the bullets tore through the windscreen.

Two robbers were wounded by police and another three were arrested in the bushes behind the shop. Another 10 were arrested after they were caught with over R20 000, a large quantity of cigarettes and unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

A passer-by was also shot and wounded in the chest. He was said to be in a serious condition.

A woman who was shopping at the time was also hit by one of the numerous bullets flying through the air.

A security guard, who fired at least 12 shots at the robbers, was shot three times in the legs and buttocks and is recovering in hospital.

Police spokesperson Thulani Zwane said the suspects will appear in the Dundee Magistrate’s Court facing charges of business robbery, attempted murder and possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.

Figile Khumalo, an eyewitness who works nearby, said she was very scared when the robbery happened.

“I was in the kitchen when I heard the gunshots. I hid behind the door because I was very scared. There was a policeman shooting right outside my door. The noise was deafening,” she said.

Provincial police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni and KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu both commended the police on their good work.

“Criminals need to be aware that we have increased our visibility and patrols at malls, shopping centres and other places of interest to ensure that we decrease the space for criminals over this festive season,” Ngobeni said.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

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