Two Hawks were killed in a confrontation with a group of armed cash in transit robbers on Thursday.
During the gun-battle, three of the gang members were shot dead and four others arrested. The hunt for the remaining suspects has been intensified and all police tracing teams have been tasked to bring these murderous perpetrators to justice.
It is alleged that on Thursday, the Special Task Force members engaged suspects near Mahikeng who were in three vehicles.
The armed gang had shot and forced a cash security van off the road. The suspects were confronted as they blew open the van.
The suspects retaliated and took off in different directions. In their attempt to escape, two of the vehicles faced off with members of the Hawks.
During the shootout, Detective Warrant Office Delene Grobelaar (44) was fatally shot. The suspects managed to flee and a manhunt ensued in earnest.
Later in the day, one suspect was tracked and arrested at a Johannesburg hospital. Immediately thereafter a follow up operation was launched in Coligny where the wanted suspects were confronted at a filling station.
The suspects retaliated with AK 47 rifles fatally wounding Detective Sergeant Wynand Herbst (42).
Three suspects were fatally wounded and two seriously injured during the gun battle. Later in the evening a further two suspects were traced to Ventersdorp. However, they managed to escape.
So far, three AK 47 rifles, two 9mm pistols, a bakkie and a minibus have been seized.
The National Head of the DPCI, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya expressed his sincere condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of our beloved members.
“We shall hunt the members of that organized criminal group that attacked the Cash in Transit vehicle and caused the death of our members” said General Lebeya.
“We have recently assembled a bigger team under an experienced Brigadier to deal with these matters. Those who have information should provide same to the investigators or the police in general”, said General Lebeya.
Meanwhile, the National Commissioner has applauded the team for successful implementation of the 72-hour Activation Plan.
“I am satisfied with the speedy response by our members to the brazen robbery and subsequent killing of one of our colleagues yesterday. The search for more suspects is continuing and I have urged our policemen and women to relentlessly continue searching for the remaining suspects, whilst maintaining their own safety,” said General Sitole.