Gun battle on the N3

2016-03-10 10:00
The only sign of fierce shooting on the N3 was the white bakkie of the alleged housebreakers rammed against an embankment.

The only sign of fierce shooting on the N3 was the white bakkie of the alleged housebreakers rammed against an embankment. (Amil Umraw, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg- Three members of a high-end house robbery syndicate were ­arrested after a dramatic chase and shoot-out on the N3 near Cato Ridge on Wednesday.

The gang of five men were chased down by local crime-fighter Shaheen Suleiman, of Magma Security.

Magma detectives were tipped off yesterday about the gang’s whereabouts, and learnt that the men were heading back to their base in ­Intuzuma, Durban.

Suleiman and a partner began following the men who were driving a white bakkie from Camperdown.

The gang became aware they were being followed and a chase started near the Engen garage, with the gang members switching from lane to lane in an attempt to evade their pursuers.

The bakkie came to a halt when the driver lost control on the wet road and careened up an embankment, colliding with the barrier.

Suleiman’s car was brought to a standstill in the middle lane as the five men exited the bakkie and scrambled in all directions, with one man opening fire with a pistol.

A fierce gun battle then ensued, with other motorists swerving to avoid the commotion.

Officers from the Camperdown police station, Highway Patrol and Flying Squad and other units soon joined the fray as the gang members fled into a nearby field.

Three out of the five men were arrested as police swooped on the area, combing the fields surrounding the then busy highway.

The officers found television sets, clothing, computers and firearms in the bakkie.

It is believed the gang is responsible for a number of housebreaking cases in Port Shepstone, Scottburgh, Pietermaritzburg, Howick and Camperdown.

Suleiman, the director of Magma Security, said his detectives have been tracking the men for “quite some time” after a client in Camperdown fell victim to the gang’s activities.

“This is a big syndicate which has been operating across the province, especially in areas close to Durban. We had to do something,” Suleiman said.

No injuries were reported in the wake of the incident.

The three men are expected to ­appear in court soon.

One motorist later took to social media to describe the ordeal.

Vukani Mbhele wrote on Facebook that he drove “through a fierce gun battle on [his] way from work”.

“There was anarchy on the freeway as motorists did not know whether to continue driving or stop. It was like a movie scene, automatic rifles being discharged,” he wrote.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  shooting

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