Four charged over game lodge robberies

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Four men appeared briefly in the Hoedspruit periodical court in Limpopo yesterday in connection with armed robberies from two game lodges in the area last month.

Three of the men were arrested at their hiding place at Komatipoort in Mpumalanga in the early hours of Monday morning.

The four are expected to appear again in the Mhala magistrate's court in Mpumalanga today on charges of armed robbery and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

Geshom Mhangane, 25, Wilfred Ngomane, 32, Thabo Mokgope, 24, and Godsave Mnisi, 32, were not asked to plead to charges of armed robbery.

A Pakistani national who was found in possession of a laptop he had allegedly bought from the accused had charges against him withdrawn on condition he turned state witness.

Of the four, Mnisi was arrested in Acornhoek.

Mpumalanga police spokesman Superintendent Abie Khoabane said three men were arrested at a house in Komatipoort.

"Three rifles that were stolen from two game lodges were found in the house," said Khoabane.

The men were allegedly involved in the shooting of two tourists near the Opern Gate of Kruger National Park.

The two victims were driving towards the gate when two men armed with rifles suddenly fired shots at their car.

One of them was shot in the left arm and leg, but the driver continued driving to escape the attack.

Shortly before this incident, three men had stolen three firearms and a laptop during two separate armed robberies at two private game lodges in the Hoedspruit area.

The men allegedly also robbed a businessman of more than R20000 at gunpoint at Welwediend village, near Manyeleti Game Reserve.