Hijackers including amputee in shootout with police nabbed

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A vehicle and a firearm police recovered during the arrest of hijackers who were involved in exchange of gun fire with police in Groblersdal.


GROBLERSDAL – One of the three suspects arrested following a shootout with police after committing a car-hijacking along the R555 road at Roosenekal outside Groblersdal last Thursday has been remanded in lawful custody until Monday 27 November 2017 for formal bail application.

The suspect, Aaron Ratau, who is an amputee using crutches, appeared before the Groblersdal Magistrates Court on Monday 20 November 2017 on charges of suspected stolen vehicle, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition and attempted murder, in addition to car-hijacking.

Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, Limpopo Provincial Police Spokesperson, said one of the accomplices was still recuperating in hospital after sustaining injuries during a shootout with police.

Mojapelo added that the third suspect of an unknown age, Emmanuel Maila was fatally wounded during the incident.

He further explained that the three suspects were offered a lift by the complainant along the R555 road last Thursday and later used a firearm to hijack his car.

“The 35 year-old victim from Haarteles in Roosenekal allegedly offered the three suspects a lift, and when they were about to reach their destination, one of them suddenly produced a firearm and ordered the driver to stop. Immediately thereafter, they forcefully pulled him out of the vehicle and then drove in the direction of Groblersdal,” explained Mojapelo.

Mojapelo further said: “Police were informed, reacted swiftly and gave chase. Reinforcements were summoned that resulted in members of the Tactical Response Team (TRT) joining in the car chase. As they were about to enter Groblersdal, the fleeing hijackers allegedly started firing at police who in turn fired back, fatally wounding one of the suspects and seriously injuring the second one. The third suspect, who is an amputee using crutches, immediately surrendered.”

The vehicle and the firearm have since been recovered by police.

Limpopo Provincial Commissioner L.t General Nneke Ledwaba has commended all members who were involved in the operation for their swiftness in responding to the serious crime.

Ledwaba said the arrest should send a clear message that police were determined to respond accordingly when faced with a confrontational situation and would not hesitate to make use of their firearms when fired upon.





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