News 2.12.2016 01:35 pm

Four suspects in court for Mpumalanga resort robbery

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock

The Blyde River Forever Resort, which is often booked out by an international television crew, was targeted in the early hours of Monday morning.

A robber was fatally wounded by police during an attempted armed robbery at an internationally renowned lodge in Graskop, Mpumalanga.

His four accomplices are expected to appear in court today, Lowvelder reported.

The Blyde River Forever Resort, which is often booked out by an international television crew to shoot a reality TV series, was targeted in the early hours of Monday morning.

The Blyde River Forever Resort. Photo: Marius Bakkes.

The Blyde River Forever Resort. Photo: Marius Bakkes.

According to Mpumalanga police spokesperson Sergeant Gerald Sedibe said the suspects Tshepo Mahule, 18, Reginah Masilela, 28,  Thulasizwe Swart, 28, Shirley de Bruin, 34, and Sbusiso Mogane, 26, entered the resort in the morning at about 4.30am.

Police were called and found a silver-grey Renault Clio that fit the description given to them with the five occupants. They had a safe with them in the car.

“They were ordered out of the vehicle, but Mogane refused to comply and pointed a firearm at the police.

“Police shot him in the upper body. The five were arrested. Mogane was rushed to hospital, where he died later that same day,” said  Sedibe.

“We confiscated a firearm and explosives at the scene and noticed that the suspects had dismounted a safe belonging to the resort,” Sedibe said.

The four briefly appeared in the Graskop Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, and the case was postponed to Friday.

The suspects face charges of business robbery, unlawful possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

According to the resort’s financial manager, Jacques Louw, the suspects demanded access to the resort’s safe and money. They stole the safe and some cash.

The two security personnel were assaulted by the robbers.

“We rushed them to hospital. Fortunately, they sustained only minor injuries. They are back at work now,” Louw said.

He commended the police for their proactive response.

– Caxton News Service

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