A police constable and three men were killed during a shootout in Yeoville, Johannesburg, yesterday.
Hillbrow police officers were on a routine stop-and-search patrol in the area when they noticed a suspicious-looking vehicle. They ordered it to stop.
An eyewitness, Themba Ngubane, said: "Police were randomly stopping people in the street. They tried to stop the car but one guy fired shots at them. Police returned fire and killed them."
Johannesburg police spokesman Cheryl Engelbrecht said that following the incident, police received a tip-off that some of the men's accomplices lived in a flat not far from where the shooting had occurred.
"At the flat we arrested seven foreign men who were found with a large number of identity documents, passports and a toy gun. The men also did not have legitimate papers to be in the country," Engelbrecht said.
She said police believed that the men were part of an identity document syndicate, and that police were now searching for a man believed to be the kingpin.
Engelbrecht also added that a murder inquest had been opened.