Policeman among suspects arrested on robbery and attempted murder charges in Bethal

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Police in Mpumalanga arrested nine men, including one of their own, after a robbery at a supermarket in Bethal on Tuesday morning.

The men were arrested on robbery and attempted murder charges.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson Brig Leonard Hlathi said the suspects, aged between 27 and 39, who were armed with pistols and rifles, were arrested not long after they had accosted staff at a local supermarket soon after it opened at 7am on Tuesday.

The men ordered everyone inside the supermarket to lie down and robbed them of  items of an undisclosed value before fleeing the scene.

A security guard was shot in the upper body in the process.

Police traced the suspects to a local guest house, where they had met after having committed the crime.

“When the police arrived, the suspects started shooting at them and they retaliated, leading to two of the suspects being shot and injured.

“The suspects were soon arrested and two vehicles, an AK47 rifle with live ammunition as well as a 9mm pistol were confiscated,” Hlathi said.

Hlathi said among the arrested suspects was a constable stationed at the neighbouring Mzinoni Police Station.

The suspects will appear in court on Thursday to face charges of business robbery, attempted murder, unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

“The fact that one of the suspects is a police officer, is an indication that the SAPS is determined to eliminate rogue members from within,” Mpumalanga police commissioner Lt-Gen Mondli Zuma said.

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