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2020/08/28      |  Written By:  Colonel A Myburgh   |   Province:  North West

POTCHEFSTROOM: An integrated operation was launched, with the participation of the Potchefstroom Drug Task Team, Trio Task Team, Security companies and Carletonville Detectives, after information received was followed-up in the earlier hours of today, leading to Khutsong, close to Carletonville.

During the operation four suspects were traced to several houses and arrested for attempted murder, theft of firearm and for being in possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition in Khutsong. Police seized  three firearms during the arrest as well as a replica pistol (toy), resembling a 9mm pistol. Another suspect was arrested at Oos Drienfontein, close to Carletonville and another suspect was arrested on a farm in Muiskraal. All six suspects are between the ages of 30-40.

The arrest follows after an incident was reported on Tuesday night at about 18:00 on a  farm in Muiskraal in the Klerkskraal area. A 54-year-old victim, Andre Marais, was shot 10 times in his legs and foot, after his dogs started barking and he went to investigate. The dogs started barking profusely, after a 68-year-old gardener, Amos Mahlaba, screamed for help, after being overpowered by three armed suspects, whilst sitting outside his house. He was tied up and taken inside his house, not far from the farmhouse.

Marais was also robbed of his .22 pistol and knife, before the suspects fled the scene. He was taken to a local hospital, where he is still admitted.

Neighbouring farmers, after hearing gun shots, immediately mobilized and assisted to patrol the roads in the area. Another victim, aged 34, was found next to a road in Muiskraal, and indicated that he was allegedly robbed by the same suspects earlier at the Carletonville Mall. He also indicated that he was kidnapped, ordered to lie down in a vehicle and dropped off next to an unknown road, where he was found by the patrolling farmers. Investigations later revealed that the victim was indeed part of the attackers and the vehicle used during the commission of the crime, a Volkswagen Golf, was found in his possession. He will also be charged for perjury.

The six suspects will appear before the Carletonville Magistrates’ Court tomorrow for possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition. The 34-year-old suspect will also appear for an additional charge of perjury. On Monday, all six suspects will appear before the Ventersdorp Magistrates’ Court for Attempted Murder.

The Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, lauded all members involved for their efforts and collaboration that led to this success. He thanked the security companies and farmers, who assisted the police.  He said that rural safety is a priority for the police and the police will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.