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HEADS DOWN: Gaopatwe (black jersey) and Ndimande
HEADS DOWN: Gaopatwe (black jersey) and Ndimande
HEADS DOWN: Gaopatwe (black jersey) and Ndimande

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‘Not on our watch!’

Cops strike first to ambush suspected armed robbers

With armed robberies becoming an increasingly regular occurrence in the country, Mosetse Police believe they acted in the nick of time to foil a potential money heist before it could play out.

Responding to a tip off, the cops raided a house in the village’s Kopano ward on Friday morning, where they found guns – a revolver, pistol F98 and pistol type 54 – live ammunition and special spikes used to puncture car tyres.

Although one man managed to evade the boys in blue, leaping over the wall and fleeing to freedom, officers did make five arrests, including three South Africans and two locals, one of whom is wanted in connection with an armed robbery in Mahalapye.

LOST IN THOUGHT: Mkhize (striped top) and Ndlovu contemplate two weeks in prison

LOST IN THOUGHT: Mkhize (striped top) and Ndlovu contemplate two weeks in prison

The suspects: foreign trio: Themba Sakhilo Ndlovu, 36, Lucky Ndimande, 34, Sakhile Mkhize, 26, as well as homeboys: Balili Kemmonye Gaborone, 35, and Botlhe Gaopatwe, 25, were hauled before Francistown Regional Court on Monday.

They were charged with unlawful possession of both firearms and ammunition while the South Africans faced an additional count of entering Botswana illegally.

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Narrating the events that led to Friday’s dramatic arrests, the Investigating Officer (IO), Osegofetse Chaboka told court they received reliable information there were criminals in the area.

“We followed the lead and it led us to Botlhe’s house. We got in the yard as the gate was open and saw one of the accused leaving through the kitchen door and jumping over the screen wall.

“We quickly surrounded the house and did our search where we found the five accused. We asked them where they come from and Botlhe told us he stays there and had given the others accommodation but does not know their names well or where they were from,” explained the Sub Inspector.

After briefly questioning the men, in which time they realised the South Africans did not have relevant travelling documents, Chaboka and his officers then conducted a thorough search of the premises.

REMANDED: Gaborone is wanted in connection with another robbery

REMANDED: Gaborone is wanted in connection with another robbery

“That is when we found suspected firearms under the bed. We also found live ammunition’s and spikes. We questioned them about the spikes and they told us they were planning to use them to ambush the G4S car and puncture its wheels. They had heard the vehicle would be coming to Nata full of money,” revealed the IO.

Pleading with court not to give the suspects bail, Chaboka described the Mzansi trio as a flight risk, further noting the cops were still to verify if the Batswana duo were indeed who they claimed to be.

“The 5th accused, Gaborone, is also wanted at Mahalapye,” continued Chaboka, adding the police are yet to track down the man who escaped or even established his identity.

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With investigations still at an early stage, court saw fit to remand the suspects until their next appearance, scheduled for Friday 12 November.

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