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2023/09/28      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mohlala   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 27 September 2023 - Teamwork between members of the SAPS and South African National Defence Force (SANDF) saved seven family members before their vehicle could be smuggled into Mozambique through Lebombo Borderline. According to information, an elderly woman was taking her six family members, two teenage boys, two teenage girls and two toddlers, to their grandparents' place at Block C from their residence in KaMaqhekeza last night, Tuesday 26 September 2023 at about 20h00.  

Before the family could leave, four armed suspects are said to have forced them into their family vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner. They were held hostage then driven into the bushes towards the boarderline by their assailants who worked on the vehicle in what is believed to be disconnecting the tracking device.

The victim's husband became suspicious when his wife could not come back home as expected. He somehow discovered later that his family was in trouble after failing to get hold of them and immediately reported to the police who also activated the Army. The team jointly managed to rescue the victims from the bushes and the vehicle was recovered in the early hours of this morning, Wednesday 27 September 2023. The suspects somehow escaped and evaded the arrest when they noticed the law enforcers.

Surprisingly, during their rescue two extra vehicles were also recovered nearby at various locations along the borderline. The cars recovered included, a Toyota Hilux double cab bakkie which was reported stolen at KaMhlushwa as well as a Toyota GD-6 double cab bakkie which was reported stolen in Garsfontein (Gauteng Province). The suspects are still at large and Police urge anyone with information on their whereabouts to call the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111 or send information via MYSAPSAPP. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous. 

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has appreciated the team work displayed by both the SAPS in conjunction with the SANDF, especially for saving the lives of the victims and the recovery of the vehicles.

Four armed suspects are said to have forced them into their family vehicle, a Toyota Fortuner.