Task team responsible for aggravated robberies and CIT’s praised for their dedication in exposing and apprehending syndicates and wanted suspects

Pretoria: The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Khehla John Sitole has commended the dedication and hard work of a multi-disciplinary team responsible for addressing aggravated robberies and more specific cash-in-transit (CIT’s) heists. This for identifying and breaking the back of what appears to be a syndicate behind a spate of these violent crimes in four provinces.
A dedicated team which was established by the National Commissioner comprising of members from various policing disciplines including Crime Intelligence, Forensic Services Laboratories (FSL), The Hawks, Detective Services and the Tactical Response Teams (TRT) to look into these crimes have been hard at work in investigating, tracking and tracing wanted criminals.
To compliment this team the National Head of the DPCI established a task team on 15 February 2020 to specifically focus on CIT investigations which forms part of its mandate. It works with the existing task team that focuses broader than CITs and also ensures the enhancement of the quality of the work.
This team has been responsible for the arrest of eleven of the countries most wanted criminals between the 17th April and 29th May 2020.
These suspects who were mainly operating between Limpopo, Gauteng, North West and Mpumalanga were linked to violent crimes such as murder, business robberies, vehicle hijackings, theft of motor vehicles as well as the possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition. The first arrests were executed on 17 April 2020 which was the 22nd day of the country’s lockdown period.
In the latest breakthrough, during the early hours of Friday morning, 29 May 2020, the team dedication in making South Africa a safer place once again bore fruit when an intelligence-driven operation directed the team to a house in Diepsloot in search for a person of interest. The team was hot on the heels of a 29-year-old suspect for the past two months, after they had managed to apprehend ten of his accomplices between April and May in the northern parts of Tshwane. Upon arrival at the identified address in Diepsloot, the team was met with gunfire from the suspect where after a shoot-out ensued between the suspect and members. The suspect was shot and he later succumbed to his injuries and was declared dead at the scene.
The deceased suspect, Thabo Maleka had approximately 30 pending cases between Limpopo and Gauteng and an additional 10 pending cases linked to business robberies in the northern suburbs and townships of Tshwane which include Mabopane, Soshanguve, Garankuwa, Winterveld and Akasia. He was also wanted in connection for the attempted murder of a group of police officers during a shoot-out with members of the SAPS earlier this year.
From this particular syndicate, a total of 12 handguns and two rifles have been recovered together with 10 cellular mobile phones and seven hijacked motor vehicles.
Three suspects have been shot and killed in a shoot-out with members with eight suspects currently in police custody. A twelfth suspect whose identity is known to the task team is still at large and the investigation is still at a very sensitive and complex stage, therefore possibility of further arrests cannot be excluded.
It is worth noting that, since the establishment of the task team on 3 February 2020, a total of thirty-one suspects have been arrested with a total of twenty-nine rifles and pistols recovered, as well as 7 hijacked motor vehicles and several explosives have been recovered.
The National Commissioner, General Khehla John Sitole has applauded the team for not losing sight amidst the current global pandemic.
“This is a good example of the successes that can be achieved when the various components and disciplines within the SAPS work as an integrated team to fight CIT’s and aggravated robberies crime in the country. What is worth noting is that most of these arrests were effected during the lockdown period which simply means that team members did not allow themselves to be deterred from executing their duties. This team and many other men and women in blue ought to be commended for their perseverance in making South Africa a safer and better place”, concluded, General Khehla Sitole.

South African Police Service

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