Woman dies in shootout

A woman died in the back of a car she was travelling in with armed robbers during a shootout with the police, Eastern Cape police said .

Acting on a tip-off, National Intervention Union officers were lying in wait for the robbers when they pulled up at a roadworks stop-and-go on the road to Mthatha at 9.30pm on Sunday, said Superintendent Mzukisi Fatyela yesterday.

A shootout ensued in which the robbers manoeuvred their vehicle onto a section of the road under construction then made their escape on foot through a nearby forest, Fatyela said.

A woman was found dead in the back seat of the car. She had bullet wounds in her chest and lower body.

While it was not known if she was a robber herself, or was involved in their operation, she had not yet been linked to any of the armed robberies for which her three travelling companions were wanted, said Fatyela.

They were accused of, among others, murdering a man at the Madeira Pool Club in Mthatha, helping a detainee escape from custody at a hospital in Humewood, and robbing a pension pay-out in Lusikisiki.

Fatyela said bloodstained clothes thought to belong to one of the robbers were also found near the car.

He said it was later established that the vehicle, which had an Eastern Cape registration, was stolen in January. - Sapa