Pretoria: The South African National Defence Force has been commended for intercepting and recovering four stolen vehicles in Mpumalanga, as they were being driven in a convoy into Mozambique.
The four vehicles – two Toyota Legend 50 bakkies, a Toyota Fortuner and a Toyota Hilux bakkie – were reported stolen at Lyttleton and Florida in Gauteng, and Pienaar in Mpumalanga.
The vehicles were intercepted near the border between South Africa and Mozambique.
Police spokesperson in Mpumalanga Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said the SANDF recovered the vehicles on Tuesday, at around 3am.
“According to the report, the SANDF members were doing their routine patrol duties when they spotted a suspicious convoy of vehicles which is believed to have been heading to Mozambique at that time of the day,” said Mohlala.
“It is said that abruptly the occupants of the said vehicles in the convoy started shooting towards the SANDF members who then reportedly fired back. One male person, believed to have been an occupant of one of the vehicles was fatally wounded.”
Police said the other occupants of the cars in the convoy managed to flee into the night.
“The police are investigating an inquest case in relation to the said incident and the deceased has not been identified as yet. Meanwhile, the alleged occupants of the recovered vehicles are still at large,” said Mohlala.
In December, the SANDF applauded its members on the Mozambican border near Mpumalanga, for recovering six “top of the range” Toyota vehicles before they could be smuggled over the border.
At the time, the SANDF said soldiers from 7 SA Infantry Battalion, deployed on the South Africa/Mozambique border, were conducting routine patrols when they noticed vehicles proceeding towards the border.
“When they stopped the vehicles, the occupants left the cars and ran on foot into the bushes leaving the vehicles.”
The SANDF said the six recovered vehicles included Toyota Hilux double-cab bakkies and a Toyota Fortuner.