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2022/08/15      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mohlala   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 12 August 2022- Team work that comprised of multidisciplinary security forces that included SAPS provincial serious and violent crime investigators, Nelspruit SAPS investigators as well as private security companies led to the arrest of four suspects aged between 27 and 30 years for tyre retailer's murder and business robbery in Nelspruit's old Pretoria Road on 05 August 2022.

According to information at police's disposal, a group of armed suspects stormed into the shop on the day whilst the 51 year old victim who is the business owner, Mr Riaan Van Der Sandt and his employees were preparing to close the business when suspects pounced on them at around 16h00.

It is alleged that the suspects held the victim and his employees at gunpoint, assaulted one of the employees who was forced to lead them to the safe. Their actions resulted in an altercation between one suspect and the business owner. Mr Van Der Sandt was fatally shot after the bullets penetrated his upper body. The suspects then fled the scene with undisclosed amount of cash.

The matter was reported to the police in Nelspruit and a case of robbery with additional charge of murder was opened. Members investigated the case and made a breakthrough when they nabbed the four in the early hours of Thursday, 11 August 2022. During the arrest, a firearm was confiscated. The police suspect that the recovered firearm could be the murder weapon. The firearm will undergo ballistic testing to determine whether it was used in the commission of crime elsewhere. One of the suspects is still at large and is being sought by the police.

The four suspects are expected to appear at the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court on Monday 15 August 2022 facing murder and robbery charge as well as possession of unlicensed firearm with ammunition. More charges could be added against them as the investigation continues.

Meanwhile the Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has strongly condemned the senseless killing of the business man and on the same breath applauded members for the arrest of the four suspects as well as the recovery of the firearm with ammunition. "Police are really working tirelessly to fight crime and commend them for that. With the arrest of the suspects and recovery of the firearm, we are adamant that the suspects could be linked to other robbery incidents" said the General.