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2 Zimbabweans killed in SA shootout

by Staff reporter
05 Sep 2023 at 22:03hrs | Views
TWO Zimbabweans are believed to be among 19 people killed in a shootout with police in Makhado, South Africa over the weekend.

Although South African police have not released details of the incident, sources revealed that the suspects met their fate at a safe house belonging to a Zimbabwean. The 19 were gunned down in an operation which lasted about 90 minutes.

South Africa police spokesperson Athlenda Mathe was still to respond to questions regarding further details, including the identities of the deceased.

However, according to the South African Broadcasting Services (SABC), among the bodies recovered from the house in Makhado (Louis Tritchardt) were two Zimbabweans.

"The sixteen men and two women were killed in a shootout after police tracked them for three days. It is believed the 18 are linked to the 11 cash heists that occurred around the province since the beginning of the year.

"Two Zimbabwean nationals who were part of the syndicate are believed to be among the dead suspects," the SABC report said.

The remains of the dead were taken to Tshilidzini Government Hospital, 70 kilometres east of Makhado, where relatives had been asked to come yesterday to identify the bodies.

South Africa National police commissioner Fannie Masemola on Saturday said the suspects were planning a cash-in-transit heist and were responsible for similar crimes in other provinces.

"We do believe this syndicate has been involved in a number of CITs in this province, Mpumalanga and Gauteng," Masemola said.

A police officer, who was injured in the shootout, had his leg amputated.

Initially, police announced that 18 people had died in the shootout, however, another body was discovered when the house was further searched after the shootout.

Masemola said on the day firearms and explosives had been brought into the house and the police believed the suspects were planning a heist.

According to Masemola, the suspects started shooting when the police swooped on them.

Several Zimbabwean criminals hide and operate in South Africa where they allegedly co-ordinate some robberies in Zimbabwe.

The house where the shooting occurred belonged to a former Beitbridge resident now based in Louis Tritchardt and is suspected to be among the dead.

Last week, four members of the same family from Beitbridge, two of them based in South Africa, were arrested in the border town after robbing a mine.

The four have since appeared at Gwanda Magistrates Court and were referred to the regional court.

Source - southern eye
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