The Kriel Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga has on Tuesday denied bail to dangerous suspects who were arrested during a shootout with police on Sunday.

Petra December Nkosi (34), Sipho Mahlangu (35), Collen Mabuza (51), Willington Cenenda (36), Sam Masinga (41) and John Rahube (35) were remanded in custody and their cases of attempted murder, car hijacking and possession of unlicensed firearms have been postponed to 10 August 2016.

The two suspects, Eddie Kekane and Robert Makabande (ages unknown) are still at hospital under police guard. They are nursing the injuries they sustained during the shootout which left one fatally wounded.

The National Head of the Hawks Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza has welcomed the decision to postpone the hearing saying it sent a loud and clear message that it will not be business as usual for suspects who commit despicable deeds.

On Sunday, the Hawks Tactical Operations Management Section (TOMS) had received information about a hijacked BMW.  The Hawks members followed the vehicle and found it parked at a house in Kriel.  Before they could enter the yard, members were greeted with a hail of bullets and a shoot-out ensured. With Special Task Force, Organised Crime, National Investigative Unit, Gauteng Flying Squad, the local police coming as backup, the suspects were overpowered.

One Hawks member was shot on the shoulder and has since been discharged from hospital and he is now recuperating at home.  During the shoot-out, one suspect was fatally wounded and two were critically wounded.

During a search at the house police confiscated SANDF and security bullet proofs, commercial explosives, one R5 rifle, one R1 rifle, two R4 rifles, one AK 47s, one 9mm pistol, one LM rifle, three stolen BMWs, one stolen Isuzu bakkie and one Chrysler Voyager.

General Ntlemeza has issued a warning to criminals that the Hawks and the SAPS are strengthening their capacities to deal with the current crime and violence that have been directed at its members.

“I need to send a warning to the criminals – there is this old saying that there are 99 days for the thief and one day for the watchman.  We want to assure the 99% of law abiding citizens that their safety and security is number one in our priorities; and that the 1% of the misguided few, will be dealt with according to law if they disrupt the peace and security that we all hope for.  We also wish a speedy recovery to our injured member who is currently recuperating at home,” said Ntlemeza.