The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS) General Khehla John Sitole has welcomed the speedy arrest of a total of 13 armed robbers over these past two days and congratulated all the members of the multi-disciplinary task team for their fantastic efforts.

This comes after Police in the Eastern Cape arrested six suspects on Thursday, 7 February 2019 following a tip off on a hijacked sedan.

The police responded swiftly and identified the reported vehicle traveling at high speed between Dutywa and Willowvale and gave chase. The suspects abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. When the suspects were cornered, they allegedly fired shots at the police who returned fire. During the shootout, one suspect was fatally wounded and three suspects were arrested on the scene while a fifth suspect managed to flee in another vehicle.

Police recovered one 9mm pistol with five rounds of ammunition and a BXP rifle with five rounds of ammunition on the scene.

The getaway vehicle was later intercepted by members of the East London K9 unit. Two suspects, who were found traveling in that vehicle, were arrested on the N2.

These suspects are allegedly part of a gang who were planning a robbery in Willowvale the same day before the police disrupted their plans. They are also believed to have been involved in other robberies in Dutywa and surrounding areas.

All the suspects face several charges including attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearms, unlawful possession of ammunition and possession of suspected stolen property.

Today another multi-diciplinary team, acting on intelligence, arrested seven alleged CIT robbers and recovered three rifles, a pistol as well as luxury vehicles in Lombardy East, north of Johannesburg.

The National Commissioner is highly ecstatic with the efforts of the multi-disciplinary task teams: “I would like to convey my appreciation to all the members involved in responding speedily to bring those responsible to book and it is also clearly evident that the new Provincial Commissioner of Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela has hit the ground running,” said General Sitole.

“This response is indicative of the effectiveness of the mobilisation of the 72-hour activation plan.” added General Sitole.

These arrests should serve as a warning to all criminals that the SAPS will not rest until perpetrators of crime are arrested and face the full might of the law.