Limpopo’s most wanted armed suspects captured

Elmon Tshikhudo

Three months after the Malamulele police station was attacked and robbed, Limpopo police have made a significant breakthrough.

On Wednesday the police arrested the criminals who are members of a heavily armed gang of thugs who stole many firearms, among them rifles, shotguns and pistols. They have since been linked to over 100 other crimes in the province.

Police recovered the stolen firearms, some with their serial numbers already filed off. They also seized two vehicles during the arrests.

Commissioner Thembi Radebe said they arrested seven of the 10 fugitives in Bolobedu outside Polokwane while a further three were arrested at a lodge in Bushbuckridge.

The suspects who are aged between 30 and 40, were apparently heavily armed and were planning to bomb an ATM in Mpumalanga.

“We can confirm that we have since arrested the 10 fugitives and recovered the stolen weapons. We are still searching for the outstanding suspects and hope they will be brought to book soon,” said Radebe.

The suspects are facing 117 charges ranging from armed robbery to murder.

“They will appear at different magistrate courts in Limpopo and Mpumalanga soon,” she said.

At the time of the attack on the police station, the Minister of Police Bheki Cele was nowhere to be seen and the community felt they were being undermined because they were located in rural areas.

Cele finally visited the area in December and gave the community an assurance that it was just a matter of time before the suspects were arrested. The arrests are a relief to communities which lost faith in the police after the robbery.

“We are excited as a community and this is good news after all,” said Lovers Mabasa, a local resident.

“We had lost faith in the police and we were living in fear with so many firearms in the hands of criminals. We are making a plea to police management to improve the station with better resources and personnel.”