Free State ANC's deputy chairperson William Bulwane's vehicle involved in cash-in-transit heist

Free State ANC's new deputy chairperson William Bulwane has confirmed to News24 that police informed him that his BMW X5 was involved in a cash-in-transit heist in Bloemfontein.

Bulwane said he handed over his vehicle to a panel beater following an accident in May this year.

He said the panel beater was recommended by the company with which he had insured his car.

Last month, the ANC fired Luthuli House staffer Errol Velile Present after he was arrested with three others for alleged involvement in a cash-in-transit heist in Soweto.

READ: Axed ANC employee linked to at least 3 heists - Cele

Bulwane, who was only questioned about his car's involvement, said he was shocked when police told him that his vehicle was involved in a robbery.

"I don't want to comment now because the matter is with the Hawks. They are working on it. I have taken my car for a repair and the man used it for other things that were not an agreement between myself and himself so I am leaving that to the law to take its course," he said.

Weapons' serial numbers filed off

Police spokesperson Colonel Thandi Mbambo said in a statement on Friday that a 38-year-old man who was driving a white BMW X5 was arrested on Wednesday afternoon. 

She said the man was driving along Nelson Mandela Drive in Bloemfontein and officers followed him until Bloemgate complex in Brandwag, where he was stopped. 

"This after crime intelligence kept surveillance of a vehicle suspected to be carrying a firearm and mobilised Mangaung Tactical response team. The vehicle was driving with no registration," she said.

She said when officers stopped the vehicle they found an R5 rifle, a LM5 rifle and a pistol, all with serial numbers filed off.

They also found rifle magazines and ammunition and a pistol magazine with ammunition, a hand radio and an undisclosed amount of cash.

"A bag containing various equipment suspected to be used during heist and armed robberies was also found. The driver failed to produce a license to possess those firearms."  

Mbambo said the man was linked to a robbery that happened earlier on Wednesday, when three armed suspects attacked security guards as they were loading money into a cash van at a garage in Brandwag. She said the matter was referred to the Hawks for investigations.  

Hawks spokesperson Captain S'fiso Nyakane did not immediately respond to requests for further information on the investigation.

Mbambo said the group stole seven money bags containing an undisclosed amount of money.

During investigations at the 38-year-old man's house, the Hawks recovered pistol ammunition and suspected explosives.

He is expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court on Monday, facing charges of unlawful possession of firearm, ammunition, explosives and cross pavement robbery.

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