Two police officials linked to ATM bombings

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pretoria - Two police officials, believed to be linked to at least 15 gang members responsible for a spate of ATM bombings around the country, have been arrested, bringing the total number of arrests to five.

Gauteng Police Spokesman, Brigadier Neville Malila said the police officials reportedly stationed in Soweto and Protea Glen were arrested on Saturday afternoon, just hours after police apprehended the alleged shooter of 33-year-old police reservist, Constable Busisiwe Mehlwana.

Constable Mehlwana was gunned down during an ATM bombing at a filling station in Pimville, Soweto earlier this month.

Malila said they were shocked that their own could be involved in criminal activity warning that they won't hesitate to arrest them.

"We want to make it clear that corruption in the SAPS will not be tolerated, the ATM bombers are usually heavily armed they continue to strike with military precision, we suspect that they (police officers) have been providing ammunition to the robbers and murderers," said Malila.

The suspect featured on CCTV footage released by police and the anonymous tip-off service Crime Line recently.

Earlier in the week, two other gang members were arrested after receiving tip-offs from the public.
The gang also struck in Vryheid this week and CCTV footage captured four of the men who are still on the run.

Head of Crime Line, Yusuf Abramjee, indicated that scores of credible tip-offs have come through to the anonymous 32211 SMS service and to Crime Stop since the footage of the ATM bombers was made public.

"The arrests made so far have been as a direct result of tip-offs and good and quick police work. Police were on the heels of the other ATM bombers and it's only a matter of time before they are arrested. I'm told that a few have already been positively identified," said Abramjee.

Abramjee appealed to the public to continue passing on information to Crime Line's 32211 SMS service or online at Information can also be passed on to Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

The CCTV footage and pictures of the wanted criminals are available on the Crime Line website, Facebook page and YouTube.

The evidence collected from the suspect arrests will be sent for analysis.