Six accused of murder, hijacking to appear in court after cop shoot-out on N2

2012-01-16 00:00

SIX men who were arrested on the N2 near Umtentweni on Saturday evening, following a shoot-out with police, will appear in the Port Shepstone magistrates court early this week.

Two of the suspects, who were shot in the leg, are in hospital under police surveillance.

All six suspects will face charges of attempted murder, possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition, possession of a stolen vehicle, and possession of stolen property.

They will face further charges for murder and hijacking in Kwa Dabeka.

Lieutenant Colonel Zandra Wiid said, “Following investigations, it was established that the vehicle was hijacked in KwaDabeka earlier this month and the owner was killed during the hijacking.”

Police recovered a third firearm, a .38 revolver, in the bushes yesterday morning. Two 9 mm pistols and 19 rounds of ammunition were reco­vered on Saturday during the suspects’ arrests.

Wiid said the men were arrested near the Umtentweni toll plaza.

“At around 6 pm on Saturday evening our members in Hibberdene received information of a vehicle travelling towards Port Shepstone with six armed occupants.”

Constable Patrick Mlambo, from the tactical response team (TRT), was about to go off duty when he spotted the vehicle passing Hibberdene.

“He followed the vehicle and requested backup from the Port Shepstone K9 unit members on duty,” Wiid added.

The K9 unit attempted to stop the vehicle about a kilometre before the toll. “As soon as the vehicle came to a standstill, the driver and a passenger jumped out and opened fire on the police.”

The pair fled into the bushes on the roadside while firing at police, who returned fire. Police dispatched two dog handlers into the bushes.

Constable Mbuso Ndlovu, with patrol dog Demon, and Constable Matthew Phakathi, with Malloss, apprehended the two fleeing suspects.

Wiid said, “They sustained gunshot wounds to the legs. Meanwhile, Sergeant Zane Moodley and Constable Wonder Caluza arrested the four remaining suspects in the car who had surrendered to the police.”

Police also confiscated two wallets, five cellphones and a knife which were found in the car.

“Two big bags containing brand new items of clothing were disco­vered in the boot of the car,” she added.

During questioning, the suspects informed police that they planned to commit business robberies in Port Shepstone, Ezinqoleni and Bizana, Wiid said.

“This was brilliant work by the TRT member and the K9 unit members, as these were dangerous criminals who were stopped in their tracks.

“Their path of destruction and committing crime were cut short by the quick action of these brave members.” Police were thanked for their sterling work by the cluster commander of Port Shepstone, Major General Frank Holloway.

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