Magalies robbery suspects nabbed after police & community track down clues

Comrades winner Nick Bester praises police for arrests

Iavan Pijoos Journalist

Former Comrades winner Nick Bester, who was severely injured in an attack in the Magalies mountains, has praised the police for their swift action in dealing with a spate of attacks in the area.

“I am very glad, excited and so glad, that the police made a breakthrough. There is hope for SA. The police have done a great job,” Bester told TimesLIVE on Tuesday morning.

This after police arrested nine suspects linked to the spate of armed robberies and other serious crimes in the Theo Martins Poort-Magalies mountains area along the R80 Mabopane highway.

Police spokesperson Brig Mathapelo Peters said the first three suspects were arrested at a hideout in Marabastad on October 14.

Peters said two others were charged in custody after their earlier arrest on two separate cases.

The police made another breakthrough and arrested four more suspects at the weekend.

Peters said three of the suspects recently arrested were linked to a murder reported at Akasia police station in September.

The fourth suspect, a 19-year-old, has been linked to two armed robbery cases reported in May and August.

According to Bester, a lot of work has gone into “cleaning” the Magalies mountains of crime.

He said community members in the area had joined forces with the police to rid the area of criminals.

Bester said he was part of some operations where community members and police went into the mountains to find clues and try to track down the robbers.

“I was part of the first operation and [we went to] where they tied me down and where my son discovered a place that they hid their weapons.

Endurance athlete Nick Bester, 60, credits his physical fitness for helping him heal from a severe beating by robbers.
Endurance athlete Nick Bester, 60, credits his physical fitness for helping him heal from a severe beating by robbers.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi/Sunday Times

“They [robbers] always took their victims to a certain rock and during one of these operations, we found bank cards, clothes and shoes.

“I always see a police vehicle in the area now, so it looks like they are checking the area out. We must continue cleaning the area of crime.”

Bester was attacked in August, allegedly by three men. He sustained broken ribs and cheekbones. He was robbed of his gun and bicycle, his son Shaun-Nick told TimesLIVE at the time. The incident occurred just 4km from Bester's home.

During the ordeal he was stripped and assaulted, and had his hands bound behind his back. He escaped down a mountain by sliding on his back until he reached someone's house and got help.

Bester said together with 11 other victims, the police asked them to identify five of the suspects last weekend.

He said one of them was “a positive” for his case.

Police have asked him to return to see if he could identify any of the other suspects.

TimesLIVE


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