Pretoria – Seven alleged ATM bombers aged between 33 and 47 have been arrested following a botched business burglary that left a police constable dead, Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said on Sunday.
Constable Baliki Mogapi, 33, was killed after he and his partner responded to an ATM alarm coming from Eenheid Steet in Haterbeesfontien on Friday morning,
The men are expected to appear at the Klerksdorp Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of murder, attempted murder, business burglary and the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
"It is alleged a group of about eight armed suspects were already in the process of breaching the ATM machine when the two members approached what they believed was a security van," said Mulaudzi.
"Unbeknownst to them as they proceeded to engage the supposed security guard, he alighted from the vehicle and shot at the members fatally wounding Constable Mogapi in the process. His partner managed to exit the SAPS vehicle and subsequently fired a single shot in the direction of the fleeing assailant," Mulaudzi said.
Pistols and vehicles seized
A serious manhunt by the Hawks and the Provincial Tactical Response Team ensued and led the team to finding the seven suspects in and around Pretoria and Katlehong, he said.
Two pistols and two vehicles were seized. Mulaudzi said police are still hunting the eighth suspect.
Meanwhile the Hawks have appealed for information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of two suspects who fatally shot Constable Thulani Mdluli (26) in Mabopane, Pretoria.
"The members were pursuing a vehicle early [on] Saturday morning when they were shot at randomly by the suspects, using a high-calibre firearm. A manhunt has also been launched for the two suspects," he said.
Anyone with information is requested to contact Colonel Bruce Bok on 082 412 4047.
National head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza, promised to leave no stone unturned in the hunt to find perpetrators.
"When you kill the police, you kill the nation and the Hawks will not rest until we arrest the criminals who is still at large. Someone, somewhere knows who this killers are and I urge our community to rise up, do your national duty and provide us with any information in order to catch the killers," he said.