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2023/11/01      |  Written By:  Lieutenant Colonel Z Mohobeleli   |   Province:  Free State

All three suspects (33, 37, and 49) implicated in the 2015, Kroonstad cosmetics shop robbery will now have their day in court. They were rearrested by members of Welkom Serious Organised Crime Investigation (SOCI) on 27 and 30 October 2023 in Potchefstroom and Ventersdorp. Charges of robbery, attempted murder, and theft against the trio had been dropped pending the conclusion of outstanding investigation as directed by the court. 

Three armed men are alleged to have stormed into a cosmetics shop in Kroonstad on 8 August 2015. Employees were threatened, robbed of cellphones, and ordered to open a safe at gunpoint Suspects were interrupted by members of Kroonstad SAPS who had responded. One suspect was chased and arrested immediately while two accomplices were traced to North West the following day. They had appeared in court, released on bail, and the case was later struck from the court roll. 

Members of Welkom SOCI worked tirelessly to close gaps which had been identified by the prosecution. They collected evidence and presented a strong case before court. This resulted in the court ordering that all three suspects be summoned back to the Kroonstad Magistrates' Court on 29 November 2023.

Free State Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), Major General Mokgadi Bokaba is pleased that victims, although this will not remove the trauma suffered on that fateful day, now stand a chance at finding closure: "Citizens must not be dismayed when a case is provisionally withdrawn. Instead, they must allow investigators time and space to dig deeper and collect more evidence."