Two people were killed and others injured after seven gun wielding suspects opened fire during an attempted cash-in-transit heist on the R410 road between Komani and Cacadu last week.
One of the suspects was shot dead in a shootout with Fidelity guard, during which a driver of a sedan was killed in the crossfire, and his passenger injured.
A child in another vehicle hit by stray bullets sustained a graze from a bullet.
According to police, a Fidelity truck from Komani en route to Cacadu was found on the MacKay’s Nek Pass after Cacadu law enforcement officials received information of a possible cash-in-transit robbery. Four security personnel who were guarding the vehicle had stated that seven suspects carrying guns and who were driving in a white double cab bakkie approached the guards when a shootout ensued, said spokesperson, captain Lariane Jonker.
Jonker indicated that one of the suspects was fatally wounded and died at the scene while others managed to escape, but without the money. The identity of the deceased was still unknown.
“The make and registration number of the white bakkie is currently unknown. During the shoot out two firearms of the security guards were also presumably lost or stolen, a vector 9mm pistol with serial number RSA663851 with ten rounds of ammunition and a R5 rifle with serial number AZ495434 with one magazine and 50 rounds of ammunition.”
She said the occupants of the white bakkie drove off towards the direction of Cacadu after the altercation. “A suspicious parcel was found on top of the Fidelity truck which was removed by the Queenstown explosives section for further investigation. No cash was taken from the Fidelity truck,” Jonker stated.
She said a 45-year-old male driver of a dark grey Audi sedan who was allegedly driving from Cacadu to Komani was found, shot dead approximately 400m from the Fidelity truck while his passenger was rushed to hospital to receive medical attention.
Jonker said police were investigating three crime scenes including one where about 600m, a white Chevrolet bakkie was discovered with a deflated tyre as a result of a gun shot.
“The driver of the vehicle alleged that he was en route to Komani from Cacadu with four other occupants in the bakkie when four bullets hit the vehicle on the right side. A child sitting at the back of the vehicle was grazed by one of the shots that were fired, and was also transported to Glen Grey Hospital to receive medical attention. Police are urging the community to come forward with any information that can assist in the apprehension and arrest of these suspects. The investigating officer in this case can be reached on 071 481 2884. All information will be treated as strictly confidential,” said Jonker.
Meanwhile, several travelling vehicles were left stranded in traffic while police personnel blockaded the crime scene in an effort to gather important evidence.
A taxi driver transporting commuters from Komani to Cacadu, who did not want to be identified, said he, as well as other motorists, had to wait in traffic for about three hours before the scene was cleared. “It was just an inconvenience, the incident definitely affected business operation because it happened during month end, a very busy period for us in this industry. Taxi’s could not operate as per usual,” said the driver.
Videos taken by people waiting in the hectic traffic jam were circulated on social media where others who had to endure the prolonged wait indicated that they had to take different routes they were unfamiliar with which caused delays.
When contacted on Tuesday morning last week provincial department of transport spokesperson, Unathi Binqose confirmed that the occurrence had disturbed the flow of traffic and warned motorists to drive with caution as the road was wet and slippery due to bad weather conditions.