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Suspect who allegedly 'robbed high-ranking' Gauteng cop arrested after high-speed chase

Maj-Gen Thomas Mthombeni was robbed of his private firearm in Midrand, Gauteng, on Thursday.
Maj-Gen Thomas Mthombeni was robbed of his private firearm in Midrand, Gauteng, on Thursday.
Image: @SAHRCommission/Twitter

A suspect linked to the robbery of Gauteng deputy provincial police commissioner Maj-Gen Tommy Mthombeni was arrested on Friday after a high-speed chase through Johannesburg.

Mthombeni was robbed of his private firearm, at gunpoint, in Midrand on Thursday. Police arrested a parolee, previously arrested for robbery, in connection with the incident.

Gauteng police spokesperson Brig Brenda Muridili said the suspect’s vehicle, which was allegedly used during the robbery, was traced to Johannesburg. It was fitted with false registration plates.

“He was arrested on the M1 South, Joe Slovo Drive. The team comprised members from crime Intelligence, the provincial cold case unit, Johannesburg Metro K9 unit, Vision Tactical SIU and Tracker Connect. The vehicle, which belongs to his girlfriend, has been seized as it was used during the commission of a crime,” Muridili said on Saturday.

“On Thursday about 11am, a senior manager from Gauteng provincial office was robbed at gunpoint. The senior manager was running errands with a friend in Midrand and was not in uniform. The suspects fled the scene with his private firearm and personal belongings,” Muridili said.

“The 39-year-old suspect is currently on parole for robbery committed in Sandringham in 2007. He was released from prison in 2018.”

The suspect is set to appear in court on Monday. The investigating team is searching for his two alleged accomplices.

A police source confirmed the victim was Mthombeni.

Yaseen Theba, a director of the security company Vision Tactical, was part of the chase.

“I wear a uniform and drive a marked car. I work with our guys on the ground,” Theba told TimesLIVE.

He said the team received information about a Hyundai i20 used in the robbery.

“Gen Mthombeni was robbed of his firearm, watch and cellphones on Thursday in Midrand. We analysed the information and the suspects’ vehicle was identified in the Houghton area.”

Theba said his company's response team attempted to stop the vehicle but a high-speed chase ensued on the M1 towards Johannesburg.

“The suspects’ vehicle was stopped at the M1 south Joe Slovo off-ramp. One suspect was inside the vehicle. The suspects’ vehicle was confirmed to be the vehicle used in the crime by unique and distinctive markings.”

Theba added: “This is a clear example of what can be done when SAPS and security companies share information and work together.”


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