Suspects in dock after shootout
TWO armed men, who were arrested after a shootout with police, yesterday appeared in the KwaMbonambi Magistrate’s Court on charges of illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. A gang of heavily armed men allegedly shot at police from a house in KwaMbonambi, KwaZulu-Natal, on Tuesday. Police officers retaliated, leaving one suspect dead. Two were arrested and another shooter fled the scene. Spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said yesterday the Empangeni crime intelligence unit received information the wanted suspects were in a house in the Macekane area, KwaMbonambi. Assisted by the Special Task Force unit, police officers pounced and a shootout ensued. Mbhele said police were investigating whether the men were part of a hijacking syndicate that has been targeting KwaZulu-Natal government department vehicles and taking them across the border. “The suspects were linked to a hijacking of a KZN Department of Health vehicle which was hijacked in the Shayamoya area, KwaMbonambi, this month,” he said. “The suspects were also linked to another KZN department vehicle, which was hijacked in the Mtunzini area, also this month. The members are investigating whether they are wanted for other hijackings where vehicles are taken across the border.” Acting Provincial Police Commissioner Major-General Bhekinkosi Langa said police would work around the clock to trace the criminal who escaped.