Later in the day, one suspect was tracked and arrested at a Johannesburg hospital.
Another operation was launched in Coligny, where the wanted suspects were confronted at a filling station by Toms members.
The suspects retaliated with AK-47 rifles, killing Detective Sergeant Wynand Herbst, 42. Three suspects were also killed and two seriously injured during the gun battle.
Later in the evening a further two suspects were traced to Ventersdorp but managed to escape.
So far, three AK-47 rifles, two 9mm pistols, a bakkie and a minibus have been seized.
The Hawks said the death of its officers was a “momentous loss”.
“We shall hunt the members of that organised criminal group that attacked the cash-in-transit vehicle and caused the deaths of our members. We have recently assembled a bigger team under an experienced brigadier to deal with these matters,” said national head of the Hawks Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya.
National police commissioner Gen John Sitole said: “The search for more suspects is continuing and I have urged our policemen and women to relentlessly continue searching for the remaining suspects, while maintaining their own safety.”
Police minister Gen Bheki Cele commended the rapid response by members of the Hawks and the special task force, and urged the tracing and investigating teams to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to find the remaining suspects.
“The apprehension of the five suspects with three fatally shot and two injured can only bring cold comfort to those who lived and worked with the slain members. We are, however, hoping that it will bring some kind of closure to the bereaved families,” the minister said.