- OR Tambo International Airport was hit by an attempted heist to steal personal protective equipment
- The incident lead to a dramatic shootout and a high-speed car chase with police pursuing the suspects
- Seven suspects were arrested while two were shot dead and some injured
- Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has applauded the police for the swift response to the situation
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Crooks bit off more than they could chew during an attempt to steal personal protective equipment from OR Tambo International Airport.
The failed heist saw the cargo area at the airport targeted, leading to a shootout and high-speed pursuit.
Police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili explained that seven suspects had been arrested, five firearms recovered and two suspects shot dead during the ordeal.
"At about 12:30 today [Saturday], a group of suspects entered the cargo section at the OR Tambo airport and held the staff at gunpoint at one of the warehouses. The manager of the warehouse noticed employees lying on the floor and immediately notified the police and airport security."
When police and security arrived on the scene, the tense situation escalated dramatically:
"A high-speed chase and shootout resulted. Subsequently, seven suspects were arrested, four of them with gunshot wounds, while two others were shot dead. A civilian in the vicinity sustained a gunshot wound apparently by a stray bullet. The police and airport security's swift response to the robbery is proof of the effective collaborative security measures that have been put in place at the airport."
READ ALSO: Mkhize's appeal: SA can't 'abandon' Covid-19 fight despite fatigue
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula had applauded the swift action taken by authorities, saying that crime would not be tolerated even during a pandemic:
"As the country unites to fight against the spread of Covid-19, it is clear that there remains a few criminal elements who are hell-bent on undermining the laws of the republic and putting the lives of law-abiding citizens at risk. Their brazen acts of criminality will not be tolerated, we will not allow crime to prevail, even in times of Covid-19. We will continue to ensure both the health and the safety of all."
Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported that Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize had appealed for SA to renew its fight against Covid-19.
The politician is adamant that the government can't fight the virus alone in the face of increasing infections:
"As Government, we have mobilized every resource, every faculty and wherewithal at our disposal to effect the necessary interventions. But government cannot manage this unilaterally. Every single South African now needs to focus on adhering to recommendations pertaining to non-pharmaceutical interventions."
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