The South African Police Service (SAPS) and the anonymous tip-off service, Crime Line has released dramatic CCTV footage of an ATM bombing in Soweto last week in which a police reservist was shot dead.
The heavily armed gang of at least 10 men, possibly more, fled the scene in a long-base white Isuzu bakkie with an undisclosed amount of cash. The gang struck at a Total Garage in Pimville shortly after 10pm last Tuesday evening.
The gang shot and killed a female reservist, 33-year-old Busisiwe Mehlwana, shortly after she arrived on the scene. This brings the total number of police officers killed, this year, to 48.
The CCTV footage shows the group of men, many of their faces covered, entering the shop at the filling station, blasting the ATM and fleeing with the money in the back of the bakkie.
The men were all heavily armed with high-calibre rifles and handguns, including an Uzzi submachine gun.
A distinct feature of one of the gang members is a limp. The footage shows him emerging from behind one of the fuel pumps as the men were about to pull away. It appears that he may have an injury to his left leg or possibly a prosthetic leg.
Gauteng Police spokesman, Brigadier Neville Malila said: “I am confident that someone, somewhere and somehow knows a man who fits the profile as seen on the footage. Some of the features and clothing worn by the other criminals can also possibly be identified.
The whereabouts of the getaway vehicle can also be helpful. The criminal with the limp, as well as his accomplices, could possibly also be involved in other crimes, including ATM bombings.”
Crime Line and the SAPS have appealed to the public to pass on any information about the gang to Crime Line’s 3 22 11 SMS service, via the website at www.crimeline.co.za or by phoning Crime Stop on 08600 10111.
Detectives have described the gang as being “extremely dangerous, possibly highly trained and well equipped.”
The public has been urged not to approach them if they recognise them.
Head of Crime Line, Yusuf Abramjee said: “Enough is enough. We cannot allow this attack on our men and women in blue to continue. It is our duty as South African citizens to support and protect our law enforcers from these criminals that have no respect for law and order. If they can brazenly declare war on our police, what stops them from terrorizing ordinary citizens?
We again call on the vigilant members of the public to assist us in tracking down these criminals. In May we managed to put three of SA’s most wanted criminals behind bars, thanks to tip-offs sent through to Crime Line and Crime Stop. We can do it again.”
The CCTV footage and stills are available on Crime Line’s website and Facebook page, including YouTube.
Police have offered a reward of R150 000 for any information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.
Tipsters can qualify for the police reward if they volunteer their names and phone numbers when passing on information. All details will be treated as highly confidential.
“A special team of detectives have been deployed under the command of the Head of the Hawks in Gauteng, Major-General Shadrack Sibiya. The team has been tasked to follow up on all the information immediately,” said Malila.
He appealed to the public to be vigilant and to assist in tracking down the gang.
“Please use Crime Line or Crime Stop to pass on detailed information. These men could be your colleague, family member, neighbour or somebody you know.”
Last week the Ministry of Police hosted a summit towards the eradication of police killings. During the summit Minister Nathi Mthethwa and National Police Commissioner, General Bheki Cele condemned the police killings, calling on stakeholders to find solutions towards fighting the scourge.
"These are men and women who support their families, who go and make a living for their families. As the minister of police, you have to go to their wives and hand over the flag of South Africa and the duty cap. It is not a nice thing," Mthethwa said during the summit.
General Cele has also appealed to the community to come forward with information on the ATM bombers and murderers.
“Break your silence and let’s get these thugs arrested,” said General Cele. “It is time for all South Africans to unite and squeeze the space for criminals to zero. Bomb blasts going off in our suburbs pose a huge danger to our citizens and tarnishes our image throughout the world”
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12 July 2011 at 18:03 - Posted by Anonymous
Reward offered after atm bombing, cop death