An elderly woman and her two grandchildren were held hostage for hours in Umbumbulu, KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday, 1 February. Her captors were fleeing from police following a business robbery.
HOSTAGE DRAMA IN KZN
Lirandzu Themba, the spokesperson to Minister of Police Bheki Cele, said five armed men robbed a cellphone shop on Tuesday morning.
The suspects took a number of phones and fled the scene in a getaway vehicle towards Umbumbulu. They lost control of the vehicle, crashed and continued on foot.
Police officers from the K9 Unit and Special Task Force joined the chase and the suspects fled into the bushes. One was arrested while another ran into a nearby house occupied by an elderly grandmother and her two young grandchildren.
“After a lengthy standoff, hostage negotiators managed to get the pensioner and her grandchildren released unharmed. The suspect was disarmed and arrested,” said Themba.
Minister of Police Bheki Cele said he was chuffed with the operation and commended the police units involved.
Meanwhile, the hunt is on for the remaining suspects and the investigation continues.
“It is through the collaboration between private security personnel and police that these criminals were tracked down, soon after committing the first crime.
“It is thanks to the expertise of the Special Task Force, K9 Units and the police hostage negotiators that innocent lives were spared.
“It’s commendable that these officers were able to handle such a delicate situation with the care and agility it demanded,” said Cele.