South Africa 24.5.2018 04:18 pm

Boksburg heist prompts court to warn witnesses to stop divulging information

The scene of the Boksburg cash-in-transit heist, 24 May 2018.

The scene of the Boksburg cash-in-transit heist, 24 May 2018.

It was reported that more than 300 shots were fired during the incident. Several weapons, including firearms, ammunition and detonating cords, are reported to be recovered.

The men arrested in connection with last week’s dramatic Boksburg cash-in-transit heist have made their first court appearance in the Boksburg Magistrates’ Court on May 21, Boksburg Advertiser reports.

The matter was postponed to May 28 for further investigation, and the suspects, whose names are known to the Boksburg Advertiser, were remanded in custody.

READ MORE: WATCH: Hectic new video footage of Boksburg cash-in-transit heist

The accused are facing charges of robbery with aggravating circumstances, possession of explosives, possession of prohibited firearms, possession of a fully automatic firearm, possession of semiautomatic firearms and 10 attempted murder counts.

According to the court, these are, so far, the main counts that the court could derive from the evidence contained in the docket.

The court indicated that there can be a multitude of firearm-related charges that can still be added. Further charges are imminent as the investigations progress.

A gang of about 10 suspects, driving in four vehicles, targeted two cash vans from G4S next to the intersection of North Rand and Atlas roads on May 17.

The vans were, jointly, reportedly transporting about R20 million in cash, when the assailants struck.

The thugs bombed both cash vans, exchanged fire with the G4S guards and stole the cash before fleeing the scene in their getaway cars, including a white Land Rover Discovery.

Dramatic high-speed pursuits by the police

A police helicopter was deployed to pursue the vehicle travelling on the N12.

Different police units, including the metro police, reacted in an attempt to arrest the fleeing suspects, but that was the beginning of another dramatic incident.

During the high-speed chase on the freeway, the occupants of the white Land Rover Discovery, armed with among others an AK47 rifle opened fire on both the EMPD and JMPD vehicles involved in the chase.

The hail of bullets apparently overcame the metro police officers, and they had no opportunity to react. Their vehicles were badly damaged in the shooting.

Five suspects in the white Land Rover Discovery being arrested at the George Koch Hostel.

The hostel was temporarily put on lockdown while officers were carrying out their investigations.

Some of the stolen money was recovered, but it remains unclear as to how much money was retrieved at this stage.

The other vehicles reportedly involved in the robbery were not found, and their occupants are still at large.

FILE PHOTO: The scene of the May 17 cash-in-transit heist in Boksburg.

Request from the court

Boksburg Magistrates’ Court senior prosecutor Henk Strydom has requested that the witnesses who are in possession of information related to the Boksburg cash-in-transit heist refrain from distributing it on social media.

The information that must not be further posted on social media, include pictures, video clips and conversations recorded on police radios and conversations between the helicopter pilot and police officials on ground level, which was intercepted by security agencies.

The request from the court applies to all witnesses, including members of the public, law enforcement agencies, security companies either associated or not associated with the complainant, G4S employees and others.

The senior prosecutor equally requests that none of the witnesses further give interviews either to the print media or radio and television, due to the fact that these witnesses might be called to testify in the anticipated trial.

The content of the interviews are saved, and will be available to be used in possible cross-examination by attorneys in the future trial.

“We should, therefore, make sure that our prosecution is safeguarded and not unnecessarily give ammunition to defence lawyers through five minutes of fame,” concluded Strydom.

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