Alleged armed robber shot dead during gunfight with cops, 13-year-old boy and police officer injured



Published May 27, 2024


A wanted suspect, aged 39, was fatally shot during a shoot-out with members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) provincial team members in Mpumalanga.

Colonel Donald Mdhluli, provincial police spokesperson said the shoot-out happened at Malaining, in Dennilton at around midnight on Thursday.

“A (police) report indicates that the team members were following some intelligence-driven information about a suspect who was sought for a series of heinous crimes such as armed robberies committed in various areas including in Vosman, Siyabuswa, Tweefontein, KwaMhlanga, and Mmametlake,” said Mdhluli.

“In a well-coordinated operation, the astute members (police officers) cornered the suspect in Dennilton after intensive investigative efforts.”

When the wanted man saw the approaching law enforcement officers, he reportedly opened fire, which resulted in a tense exchange of gunfire.

“Unfortunately, during the confrontation, one officer sustained injuries and was promptly evacuated to a medical facility for urgent treatment. In response to the imminent threat posed by the armed suspect, the SAPS officers engaged in a defensive manoeuvre to protect themselves and innocent bystanders,” said Mdhluli.

“It was during this time when the suspect was fatally shot during the exchange of gunfire whilst a 13-year-old minor somehow sustained some injuries and he could have been hit by a stray bullet. He was also taken to hospital for medical treatment.”

Following the conclusion of the operation, and after securing the scene, law enforcement officers conducted a thorough search and recovered a firearm believed to have been used by the suspect during different criminal activities.

The recovered weapon, according to Mdhluli, will undergo a forensic examination to establish possible involvement in previous crimes.

He said police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), will investigate the shooting incident.

Meanwhile, the provincial commissioner of police in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has emphasised that the men and women in blue remain committed to ensuring the safety and security of all citizens, particularly at this time when the country approaches the 2024 general elections.

“We will continue to work tirelessly to apprehend individuals involved in criminal activities. We extend our thoughts and prayers to the injured officer for a speedy recovery and commend the bravery and professionalism displayed by our officers in the face of grave danger,” said Manamela.

“We urge members of the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities to the authorities promptly. Together, we can create safer communities for all.”