Five men arrested and in court regarding ORTIA armed robbery

Pretoria, Monday 20 March 2017: The South African Police Service is pleased to provide progress relating to yet another breakthrough in the OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) heist/armed robbery.

This follows the arrest of five men over the past weekend by members of the multi-disciplinary team investigating the armed robbery which occurred at ORTIA on Tuesday, 7 March 2017.

The five men appeared briefly in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court today, facing a charge of armed robbery. The case has been remanded to the 28th and 29th March 2017 for a bail application.

It is regrettable and at the same time pleasing to note that, among the five people arrested over the weekend, a member of the South African Police Service was among them. This affords us the opportunity to take appropriate action against our own.

We wish to reiterate our stance as the South African Police Service, that there is no place for corrupt or criminal elements in our organisation and this arrest sends a strong message that we will continue to investigate without fear or favour.

Two men who were arrested within a week of the armed robbery are due to appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate’s Court for a second time later this week. They had been granted R50 000 bail each.

The police team tasked with investigating the armed robbery, including members of the Hawks are commended on their commitment to ensuring that the perpetrators are arrested and brought before the courts.
Items of evidence seized by the police during the course of the investigation will be presented in court during the trial of the accused. Our investigations are continuing and information gathered, including the roles played by individual accused, will also be court-directed.

“We congratulate the team on their hard work, a combination of intelligence gathering and old fashioned detective work. Their efforts have culminated in the recent arrests and court appearance of those allegedly involved in the ORTIA robbery which we view as a serious security breach at a national key point,” said the Acting National Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane.
The South African Police Service is disappointed that information and photographs apparently peddled to the media over the weekend were published today. We ask that our investigators be allowed to continue with investigations and that credible information be sourced from court proceedings. Those who seek to compromise police investigations should not be afforded the opportunity to do so.
“As the South African Police Service, we wish to place it on record that we understand and respect journalists’ mandate as a watchdog for society. However, soliciting information from members who are involved in the investigation is noted with serious concern. We are looking into the matter, to establish which of our members are leaking information to various media houses. This is not assisting us in anyway with regards to the ongoing investigation. The publishing of articles should not be to the detriment of our investigation and will not be condoned”, emphasized Acting Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane.