Supermarket robbery suspects in the bag

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

Nine men from Mpumalanga and Gauteng were arrested a few hours after they allegedly robbed a supermarket and wounded a customer in Kinross, Mpumalanga, on Wednesday.

The robbery took place at Boanova a few minutes before the supermarket was about to shut for the day, police said.

A police spokesman, Inspector Thabiso Ncongwane, said five men entered the shop at about 7pm and held up staff and customers at gunpoint.

They forced their victims to lie on the floor as they took money from the safe and cash registers. They also took cellphones, air-time recharge vouchers and other valuables from staff and customers.

The cash and goods stolen were valued at about R127000.

Ncongwane said four of the suspects kept watch outside the shop. A customer who tried to phone the police was shot in the hip and was taken to Evander Hospital.

Ncongwane said about an hour later police spotted the Fiat Uno used in the robbery in a township in Embalenhle, Secunda.

Police tried to stop the car, but the suspects sped off and the police gave chase through the Mandela section to White City, where the suspects abandoned the car and fled on foot.

"After a tip-off from the public, the police arrested five suspects, all from Mpumalanga, and confiscated two firearms," said Ncongwane.

He said a further four suspects, from Gauteng, were arrested yesterday while travelling to Gauteng on the N17.

Police also confiscated four cars - a BMW with a Gauteng registration, and a Fiat Uno, a Nissan Sentra and a Ford Bantam with Mpumalanga registrations.

The nine men will appear in court on charges of attempted murder, armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms.