Off-duty cop nabs 2 after Mthatha teacher robbed at gunpoint

Ashraf Hendricks, GroundUp
  • Two people have been arrested by an off-duty police officer after an armed robbery.
  • They allegedly held a teacher at gunpoint and demanded his possessions.
  • The police officer gave chase and apprehended the two robbers.

An off-duty police officer leapt into action to arrest two people shortly after an armed robbery in Mthatha.

On Thursday, at Marambeni Village in Mthatha, two individuals – aged 24 and 28 – allegedly held a teacher at gunpoint and demanded he hand over his personal belongings.

In fleeing the scene, the two robbers walked past Sergeant Soyisile Tambodala, who was sitting in his vehicle.

Tambodala, from Ramatisiliso Port of Entry, noticed the two walking past his vehicle, but was unaware they had just committed a crime - until the victim approached him.

The victim, who had followed the robbers, asked Tambodala for his assistance.

"When duty called, he reacted without any hesitation and immediately pursued the suspects in his vehicle," said police spokesperson Colonel Sibongile Soci.

On apprehending the robbers, they were found in possession of an unlicensed 7.65 Norinco firearm, with 13 rounds of ammunition. Two knives and a can of pepper spray were also found.

"The firearm will be sent for ballistic testing to ascertain if it has not been used in the commission of any other crime. The possibility that the suspects could be linked to other crimes cannot be ruled out and will be investigated," says Soci.

Police are investigating cases of armed robbery and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

The Eastern Cape provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga, applauded the bravery of Tambodala.

"The altruism of the member was clear when he immediately and without further thought chased after the suspects. Police officers such as him are steadfast to their calling, thus ensuring that the space of criminals is limited and that the community is protected.

"Our members are encouraged to use tactical moves when approaching any crime scene, especially armed robbery scenes, to avoid loss of life," added Ntshinga.

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