- A suspected cash-in-transit heist robber was killed on Wednesday.
- Police are still looking for eight heavily armed robbers.
- Robbers shot at police and awaiting trial prisoners.
A suspected cash-in-transit (CIT) robber had his head blown off during a heist in Mohlakeng west of Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said while officers from the Bekkersdal police station were transporting prisoners to court, they drove past alleged CIT robbers who had just bombed a G4S van.
"The members were ferrying awaiting trial prisoners when they were shot at by a group of men sitting behind a white Ford Ranger. Neither members nor the awaiting trial prisoners were injured during the ordeal," Mathe said.
While investigating the scene, the police found the body of a man - believed to be one of the robbers - with his head blown off. Mathe said they believed the man's head was blown off when the robbers bombed the van.
"We believe that the dead man was going to check why the bomb had not detonated. While he was checking, it detonated, killing him," Mathe said.
A BMW 3-series that had been stolen in Kagiso on the West Rand in December was also charred. Mathe said the other robbers made off with an undisclosed amount of money.
"Police are appealing to members of the public, especially those around the area of Soweto, to be on the lookout for a white single cab Ford Ranger and a silver BMW. Both vehicles were used as getaway vehicles by suspects who fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money. We are looking for about eight heavily-armed suspects."
Cash-in-transit operator G4S confirmed that one of its cash-management vehicles was the target of the robbery. It said none of G4S's guards was harmed in the attack.
"G4S has, over the past few years, invested in upgrading its fleet to include a number of CIT mitigation technologies, which includes the use of polyurethane foam that solidifies when triggered," the company said in a statement. "The hardened foam encases the contents of the CIT vehicle, making it nearly impossible to steal. As a result of the foam technology, a minimal amount of cash was lost in [Wednesday's] attack."
Renso Smit, MD of G4S South Africa, said: "Our foremost priority is to keep our people safe. We are investigating the circumstances of the attack and are making all evidence available to the SAPS with whom we continue to work closely."
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