By Krishnee Naidoo and Danica Hansen
Investigations into the brazen cash-in-transit (CIT) robbery that unfolded in Springfield and ended in Parlock, which left six suspects and one civilian dead on Monday, continues as the Hawks members delves into the gang’s links to other crimes in the province.
Hawks spokesman, Cpt Simphiwe Mhlongo said, “We can confirm that the two suspects in an armed robbery at Springfield Park appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court yesterday, facing charges relating to a cash-transit-heist and the possession of an unlicensed firearm.”
Police spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala said, “On Monday at 10:05am, at Springfield, the security guards went to collect money in one of the centres when they were accosted by a group of armed suspects. At gun point, they took the cash box. The police were alerted on the incident and immediately attended to the scene. A shoot-out ensued between the suspects and the police. One suspect died at the scene while the other suspect sustained a gunshot wound.
Two other suspects were also arrested at the scene. Two firearms were recovered at the scene. The other suspects fled in their getaway Mercedes towards the Parlock area, Newlands and the chase ensued. The suspects continue to shoot at the police and they retaliated, fatally wounding four suspects. Charges of cash-in transit robbery, attempted murder, possession of suspected stolen property, possession of unlicensed firearms and inquest are being investigated. The arrested suspects will appear in court once charged.”
“We can further confirm that two people died in hospital yesterday including the injured suspect,” Cpt Gwala added.
The Weekly Gazette journalist was on scene shortly after the shootout and spoke to some of the people who had gathered on Inanda Road where the getaway vehicle had been pursued.
“It was about 10:15am, when we were going back after our tea break that we heard the gunshots. It was like lightening coming through the sky. I was scared because I thought these people were coming inside in our company,” said Lloyd Ngema, who works on Inanda Road.
“The dedication of the police was unbelievable, it was good to see how the cops handled it so well,” said a bystander on Umgeni Road outside Makro, Bradley Mostert, who had witnessed the car chase in the Parlock area.
Managing director of 1 Stop Security, Maveshin Odayar, a trained paramedic, was on scene minutes after the shootout in Parlock and told the Weekly Gazette how he assisted the civilian who was shot and later passed on. “My team and I immediately responded to the scene. A civilian who was shot had fallen into the bushes when he probably tried to take cover during the gunbattle. I helped to move him and tried my best to stabilise him until emergency services arrived on scene. He had been shot in the posterior and was bleeding out as the bullet appeared to have hit his hip as well. A second civilian was shot in the arm. It is believed that the civilians were outside during their tea-break when the chaos broke out. 1 Stop response members assisted police to secure the area and stood down at the scene,” said Odayar.
The KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner, Major General Bheki Langa condemned the attack on police officers. “The police officials will always defend themselves when came under fire while executing their duties. The arrested suspects will be profiled to see if they are linked to other robberies committed in the Durban and surrounding areas,” he said.