South Africa: Hawks Discovered the 19th Body of Suspected Cash-in-Transit Robber in Makhado

Media Statement

Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks)

LIMPOPO – As the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation together with the team of crime scene experts were busy processing the scene following a shootout between the police and suspected cash in transit robbers, another body of an adult male was discovered in one of the rooms at the safe house in Eltivillas at Makhado on Saturday, 2 September 2023.

This brings the total number of the deceased to 19 (17 males and 2 females).

In response to the spate of cash in transit robberies in Limpopo, Gauteng and Mpumalanga Provinces, an intelligence driven project was initiated in January this year.

While the investigation was continuing, a multidisciplinary team consisting of DPCI National Priority Violent Crime Desk, Mpumalanga DPCI, Limpopo DPCI, Head Office Tactical Operations Management Section, Tactical Response Team, Pretoria Special Task Force, Gauteng Traffic Police Saturation unit and Head Office Counter Intelligence was assembled and kept an observation on the suspects who were planning to commit CIT in Makhado area on Friday.

The suspects were about to leave the house to execute their mission when they realised that they were being monitored and they started shooting at the team.

In a shootout that lasted for about 90 minutes, nineteen (19) suspects were fatally wounded. Unfortunately one (1) DPCI member was injured during the shootout and rushed to the hospital for medical treatment.

The team found 11 (eleven) firearms with lots of ammunition and multiple magazines (AK47, R1, R5 and a pistol) as well as primed explosives plus detonators, boosters, lead cords and raw explosives .

Furthermore, 5 (five) high powered vehicles were impounded on the scene, (Ford Ranger, Mercedes Benz ML , Land Rover, Toyota Bakkie and VW Tiguan) of which 3 were positively reported stolen in Gauteng and Mpumalanga Provinces. The processes of identifying the deceased will unfold on Monday, 04 September 2023.

Whilst the police were busy exchanging fire with the suspects in Makhado, another group of the police team proceeded to another safe house in Thohoyandou where five (5) suspects were arrested. The suspects are believed to be part of those who were killed in Makhado. One suspected stolen vehicle (Volvo) and another vehicle with an ambulance branding were found at the second address in Thohoyandou and they were also seized. It is believed that an ambulance-looking vehicle was going to be used to transport money after the heist from Limpopo Province to Gauteng Province.

Five (5) suspects are expected to appear before the Vuwani Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 4 September 2023 to face charges relating to possession of suspected stolen motor vehicles.


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