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2022/10/24      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mohlala   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 22 October 2022 - Two hijacking suspects were arrested after a high chase and gun battle with the police in Hendrina. The suspects aged 30 and 31 allegedly hijacked a White Toyota Legend 45 in Rockdale section in Middleburg yesterday, Friday 21 October 2022. According to information, after the vehicle was allegedly hijacked, members of Middleburg K9 pursued the vehicle which took Hendrina road direction. Members from Hendrina were activated and they spotted the vehicle which matched the description of the alledged hijacked vehicle.

The joined efforts by both K9 members and Hendrina members forced the suspects to abandon the vehicle and seek refuge in the bushes whilst firing some shots to the police. Police had to protect themselves from the lethal weapons and returned fire. During the gun battle, one police official was shot on his left arm and one community member could not be spared from the flying bullets, a female was also strike on her right hand side of the breast. However both suspects were apprehended and a firearm recovered as well as the alledged hijacked vehicle.

The injured police official and the community member were transported to different hospitals with an ambulance.

The arrested suspects are expected to appear before Hendrina Magistrate's Court on Monday, 24 October 2022, on two counts of attempted murder, possession of suspected stolen vehicle as well as possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunitions. They will further appear before Middleburg Magistrate's Court on the hijacking charge.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela commended the team work displayed by both the K9 and members from Hendrina SAPS. "Slowly but surely, we are reducing hijackers from walking freely in our province" concluded the General.