Gun battle in broad daylight

GOTCHA: Six robbers were arrested in Meadowlands, Soweto, after a shootout with cops. Pic.MOHAU MOFOKENG. 08/11/2009.  © Sowetan.
08 NOVEMBER 2009 MMO --Eight robbers were arrested in Meadowlands, Soweto, after a shoot-out with cops. PHOTO MOHAU MOFOKENG
GOTCHA: Six robbers were arrested in Meadowlands, Soweto, after a shootout with cops. Pic.MOHAU MOFOKENG. 08/11/2009. © Sowetan. 08 NOVEMBER 2009 MMO --Eight robbers were arrested in Meadowlands, Soweto, after a shoot-out with cops. PHOTO MOHAU MOFOKENG

IN what resembled an action film in Mofolo Village, Soweto, six men exchanged gunfire with the police in broad daylight, helicopters blazing and all.

IN what resembled an action film in Mofolo Village, Soweto, six men exchanged gunfire with the police in broad daylight, helicopters blazing and all.

The men had just robbed a petrol garage in White City, Soweto, and were shooting at anything in their way, including onlookers.

Thulisiwe Melaphi survived certain death by mere millimetres when a stray bullet grazed her hair after going through the corrugated iron of her shack, a wardrobe, a fridge then through the opposite end of the shack and through the door of a room of another building.

Yesterday she was still too shocked to talk about her near-death ordeal. Her father Thembinkosi Melaphi related the story: "We were sitting in the shack when Thulisiwe jumped suddenly.

"Then I saw the holes in the fridge. I realised that the bullet had missed me by mere millimetres. We feel extremely lucky to be alive," he said.

Police said after the robbers realised they were cornered by the police, they ran into the reeds between Mofolo and Dube and started shooting.

Outside the Melaphi's shack, a sense of anticipation hung in the air as residents waited to see whether police would find at least one gunman in the dense reeds.

Police spokesperson Inspector Kay Makhubela said only the cars used in the robbery were recovered. "The money stolen, which is undisclosed, has not been found."

According to residents a lone gunman was seen running ahead of a police car - firing shots at the cops.

All the men were eventually arrested and charged with armed robbery. They will appear in court tomorrow.

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