By Everson Luhanga
Shots were exchanged when a large group trying to cross the border from Lesotho to South Africa was intercepted by the SANDF and SAPS in the early hours of Monday.
One person travelling with the group of 158 people was wounded in a shootout with police. Several members of the group were armed with weapons including a firearm, knives, and screwdrivers.
In a statement released by the Free State provincial police, Brigadier Motantsi Makhele said that at about 00:45 am on Monday morning, a convoy of 13 vehicles approached the roadblock set up by authorities.
The first vehicle in the convoy, a Toyota Quantum, failed to stop at the roadblock and a shootout followed
“Shots were fired from the minibus and the officials on the roadblock returned fire. One male was slightly injured during the cross-fire and rushed to the hospital in Bloemfontein,” said Brigadier Makhele.
He said eventually all 13 vehicles were stopped and searched, and the passengers were found without documents allowing them to be in South Africa.
Two loaded firearms were discovered along with ammunition in one of the vehicles, a BMW
Sedan, he said. The five men occupying the car were arrested for possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition.
“The BMW registration number plates and licence disc were also not corresponding. All 158 passengers were arrested as illegal immigrants.”
The five suspects arrested for possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, as well as possession of presumably stolen property, will appear in the Wepener Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday 7 June.
“We commend joint efforts by the SAPS and SANDF in making sure that they stop this lawlessness which was about to take place,” said Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane.
“As law enforcement agencies we will never allow a situation where people want to do as they like and not obey our laws.”
Image source: @SowetanLive
This article was first published by: https://scrolla.africa/