Cops shot in Rosettenville on road to recovery and 'in high spirits', two more suspects arrested

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  • Gauteng top cop Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela says officers shot in the Rosettenville bloodbath are recovering well.
  • Mawela visited the wounded officers on Tuesday and says they have improved and are in high spirits.
  • Eight suspected CIT robbers were shot dead while exchanging gunfire with the police, while 10 more were arrested.

Police officers, who were shot and wounded during the Rosettenville bloodbath on Monday are in high spirits and recovering well in hospital, the national police department said on Tuesday.

The four SAPS members and one Johannesburg Metro Police Department officer were shot on Monday after a gang of about 25 heavily armed cash-in-transit robbers led police on a high-speed chase through the suburb, trading salvos of gunfire as they weaved through traffic. By the time it was over, bodies littered the streets.

Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe, said three SAPS officers - an Airborne Law Enforcement Officer (ALEO) and two members from the Moffatview police station were still recovering in hospital. The JMPD officer was also still in hospital, she said.

Mathe said one SAPS member had since been discharged following the shooting.

Provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela, who visited the wounded officers on Tuesday, said the health of the injured members had since improved and all affected "are in high spirits".

Mathe said since the establishment of the National CIT Task Team in 2020, a total of 202 CIT suspects had been arrested - of which 13 were on the country's top 13 most wanted criminals list, who had been involved in a spate of aggravated robberies.

To date, the team had recovered 178 high performance vehicles that were mostly hijacked and also recovered 104 firearms which included 59 pistols and 48 rifles, she said.

AS IT HAPPENED | Cops find AK-47s, R4 assault rifles and explosives at scene of Rosettenville shooting - Cele

During a visit to the chaotic scene on Monday evening, Police Minister Bheki Cele said eight gunmen were shot dead and eight more were arrested.

Cele said the men were from Zimbabwe, KwaZulu-Natal and one from Botswana.

Mathe confirmed that two more suspects were arrested later that evening, bringing the total of arrests to 10. She said two of the 10 suspects were in hospital under police guard.

"Various policing disciplines worked tirelessly throughout the night combing the scene where the task team managed to corner the group of heavily armed suspects."

Eight people were shot dead as police pounced on gang ahead of a cash heist.
Eight people were shot dead as police pounced on gang ahead of a cash heist.
Supplied Supplied

Mawela said the group was plotting a cash-in-transit bombing, but was intercepted by a highly trained police team.

"There was a money truck which they were observing and they were going to hit it, but our members said 'prevention is better than cure'," he said.

Mawela confirmed that the robbers' plan had been in the works for days and was eventually undone when intelligence was channelled to the officers who were waiting for them.

"Last week, they didn't commit their crime, so today they decided to commit their crime [but] our teams were just behind them and when they realised that here are the police, they were rushing to their safe house. That is when our team, highly trained, dealt with them," he added.

The team recovered 10 high performance cars at a safe house and six AK47s, three rifles and explosives.

READ | 8 shot dead as police pounce on gang ahead of cash heist

National police commissioner General Khehla Sitole commended the law enforcement agencies involved for "a show of force and asserting the authority of the state".

"The multidisciplinary team consisting of the National CIT Task Team, Crime Intelligence, members of the SAPS Airwing, the Tactical Response Teams (TRT), K9, JMPD, Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department, Gauteng Highway Patrol, as well as RTMC ought to be commended for their hard work and dedication in pursuing these criminals in the latest breakthrough.

"This latest incident ought to send a clear message to all criminals that we are coming for all of them and that there is no longer a space for criminals to operate freely in South Africa. I also take this opportunity to wish all injured a speedy recovery," Sitole said.

A manhunt was launched for the remaining suspects.

Anyone who has information on the whereabouts of the suspects was encouraged to contact their nearest police station or call the Crime Stop Hotline on 08600 10111.

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