Police rescue bakkie driver in shootout with suspects

© Provided by The South African

Police intercepted a stolen bakkie and rescued the driver who had been held up at gunpoint and forced to drive a gang of armed robbers around KwaMashu last week.

SAPS spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said police officers from the Durban Flying Squad were patrolling along Hunslet Drive in Phoenix when they spotted a bakkie with eight occupants, that was driving recklessly. The incident occurred at around 1.30pm on 18 September. 

“They attempted to intercept the suspect’s vehicle but they sped-off. A chase ensued until the corner of Malandela and Musa Road in KwaMashu where it (the bakkie) crashed into a pavement and came to standstill,” she said.

“Six suspects alighted from their vehicle and fled on foot whilst firing shots at the police who returned fire. When police approached the vehicle, they found two male occupants. Police recovered a 9mm pistol, a magazine, three rounds of ammunition and a knife,” Gwala said.

She said the initial police investigation had revealed that one of the men in the vehicle was in fact  a victim of robbery. 

“He informed the police that he had been robbed by the same suspects who forced him (to get into) the back of his bakkie. The victim alleged that he was requested by the suspects to take them with his vehicle to G Section while he was at KwaMashu Hostel,” Gwala said.

“As he continued with the trip, he was threatened with a firearm. At gunpoint, the suspects forced him to stop the vehicle demanded the car keys, bank cards along with the pin numbers and he was forced into the back of his vehicle. They went to an ATM to withdraw the cash. The other suspects managed to evade arrest and are still being sought by police,” Gwala said.

The arrested suspect, Ndumiso Minenhle Xhakaza, 24, appeared in the Ntuzuma Magistrates’ Court on Monday to face charges of armed robbery, attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition.

The case was remanded to 28 September 2021 for a bail hearing

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