According to Ipid spokesperson Lizzy Suping, the deceased allegedly entered the Jane Furse station on Monday at about 8pm, grabbed the firearm arm from the thigh holster of one of the police officers who was busy executing his Community Service Centre duties (CSC) and went on to hold police members hostage and promised to kill them.
“The other members from the CSC unit were able to inform their counterparts about the hostage drama. A hostage negotiator was brought in together with members from the Tactical Response Team for backup,” said Suping.
“The deceased refused to surrender himself following requests from the hostage negotiator. The Tactical team entered the office where the deceased was firing shots from and police members retaliated.”
Suping said the unknown man was allegedly found in possession of used Nyaope sachets and an injection.
An inquest case was opened.
According to Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, the group, heavily armed, stormed the Community Service Centre (CSC), robbed the members on duty of their firearms and locked them in the back of a police van. They then proceeded to take R4 rifles, pump guns, pistols and ammunition from the safe and left the station after locking the gate. The suspects then proceeded to rob the nearby businesses.
The 10 suspects were arrested in January following an intensive investigations. Seven of the suspects were found in their hideout at Medinyeng Village near Kgapane under the Bolobedu policing area outside Tzaneen, Mopani District, and the other three were arrested at a lodge in the Dwarsloop area outside Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga.
The preliminary investigations also positively linked the suspects with several ATM bombings and armed robberies in the province and an incident where a police Sergeant attached to Botlokwa station was robbed of his service pistol, R5 rifle and bulletproof vest.
Police recovered eleven firearms, ammunition and explosives. Some of the firearms were robbed during the attack on Malamulele police station.