A woman driving past the scene of a cash heist in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape died after being hit by a stray bullet‚ police said on Tuesday.
Another man‚ also a bystander‚ was injured‚ said Brigadier Vish Naidoo. The heist occurred on Monday evening on the N2 around 6:30pm.
“During the heist‚ suspects who were travelling in a bakkie shot at the security vehicle‚ bringing it to a halt. They then disarmed the three security guards‚ tied them up and forced open the safe‚ removing an undisclosed amount of money‚ as well as three firearms belonging to the security guards were taken‚” Naidoo said.
“During the shooting‚ three vehicles that were passing at the time of the incident were hit by stray bullets. A 30-year-old woman was shot and killed and a man who was wounded‚ was rushed to hospital.”
Police rolled out their 72-hour activation plan and traced the suspects’ abandoned vehicle to Maclear.
“Within hours thereafter‚ at approximately 9:30pm‚ they tracked down [another] vehicle with no number plates at a filling station in Mthatha. While searching the said vehicle‚ damaged money and [an] unlicensed CZ75 pistol were confiscated and the two men‚ believed to be linked to the said robbery‚ were arrested. Police are still searching for the remaining suspects‚” Naidoo said.
The pair‚ aged 25 and 27‚ were arrested. National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole applauded the swift arrest of the suspects.
“We will not rest until we win the war on the scourge of aggravated robberies‚ particularly cash-in-transit robberies. It is our responsibility to prevent‚ combat‚ investigate crime and create a safe and secure environment for South Africans. The arrest of these suspects must serve as a deterrence to others‚” said Sitole.
“It is however extremely disturbing that innocent people are caught in the middle of such heinous crimes. As I convey my sincere condolences to the families of the woman and I wish the wounded man a speedy recovery‚ I want to assure the nation that we will do everything possible to track down all those responsible and ensure that they face the full brunt of the law‚” he added.