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2023/11/06      |  Written By:  Colonel D Mdhluli   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 05 November 2023 - Two suspects, both aged 27 appeared in court (Kabokweni and Lydenburg) on Friday, 03 November 2023 subsequent to their arrest by SAPS members from Mpumalanga Provincial Task Team. The pair was nabbed in connection with a business robbery, murder of Ms Megan Griesel (20), contravention of explosives Act, attempted murder as well as business burglary that occurred on 21 October 2023 in Lydenburg.

The arrest of the two can be attributed to a dreadful event which was reportedly staged by a group of approximately ten heavily armed suspects, driving in a white Isuzu bakkie. It is said that the group stormed into a certain fuel station around 00h30 am. According to further details, the suspects were seen carrying pistols as well as rifles and they reportedly held the staff at gunpoint. It is also alleged that the suspects detonated some explosives to gain access to the drop safe then took an undisclosed amount of cash as well as some cigarettes.

As if that was not enough, the suspects are said to have proceeded to the nearby shopping complex and pounced on another filling station. It is reported that the suspects robbed them of an undisclosed amount of cash, including some cigarettes. From there it is said that they (suspects) moved and attacked a liquor store belonging to a reputable supermarket in the same shopping complex. It transpired that the suspects forcefully gained entry through the main door and helped themselves with various items, including some expensive beverages and some cigarettes. During this horrific event, a report shows that the suspects were shooting randomly at the scene and also firing some shots towards any motor vehicle that was approaching the crime scene. Unfortunately as a result, a Ms Megan Griesel, who was reportedly traveling alone in a vehicle was fatally shot inside the car which was found riddled with bullets.

Thereafter, the matter was reported to the Police whereby a Provincial Task Team was assigned to probe. A call was made to the public for assistance with information that may assist in locating the suspects. On Wednesday, 01 November 2023 the investigation team made a breakthrough when they were led to Masoyi, outside White River where their first suspect was cornered. Thanks to members of the community who contributed a lot by availing information on the whereabouts of this suspect. The suspect made a brief appearance at the Lydenburg Magistrate's Court on the said Friday (03 November 2023) where the matter postponed to Tuesday, 07 November 2023 whilst the suspect remained in custody. More charges could possibly be added against the suspect as the investigation continues.

Meanwhile information continued to be provided by good and law abiding citizens regarding the whereabouts of another man suspected to have been involved in that terrifying incident. On Thursday, 02 November 2023 the Task team investigators wasted no time after receiving the details and they were led to Kanyamazane where they apprehended their second suspect. What is interesting about the second one is that he was reportedly found in possession of a firearm with ammunition during his arrest. He too appeared at Kabokweni Magistrate's Court on Friday (03 November 2023) facing the said charge of possession of unlicenced firearm with ammunition. The team is working around the clock to ensure that remaining suspects are swiftly brought to book.

Due to the sensitivity and delicacy of this case, the identities of the suspects are withheld to prevent a situation which may jeopardize the investigation.

The management of the SAPS in Mpumalanga further applauds the public for the role they play in the value chain of fighting crime as the more they share information regarding criminality, the safer the streets become as police and other law enforcement agencies continue to act in the best interest of the public without fear or favour. The exceptional work done by the team is also acknowledged with much appreciation.