Two gunmen killed in shootout between cops and heavily armed robbers in Joburg

Two suspected robbers have been shot dead in Johannesburg after a shootout with police.

Photo: Archive/André Damons

  • Two suspected robbers have been shot dead and 11 arrested after a shootout with police near the Johannesburg CBD.
  • Allegations are that the group of 20 gunmen planned to steal solar panels. 
  • Police have launched a manhunt for the rest of the gang. 

Two suspects were shot dead and 11 arrested during a business robbery on Thursday in Heidelberg Road, near the Johannesburg city centre, Gauteng police say.

It’s alleged that a group of around 20 robbers planned to rob several businesses, including a company which sells and installs solar panels.

The men were travelling in several vehicles, including a truck, when they were confronted by police.

Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza said a shootout between the suspects, security members and police then ensued, and that two of the suspected robbers had been killed.

“The suspects were there to [steal] solar panels. [They] fled the scene, leaving their vehicles behind,” Kweza said. 

Speaking to the media at the scene of the shootout, Gauteng police commissioner General Elias Mawela said it was clear that the gunmen had planned to “rob different places”.

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He said police had been alerted after business owners called their private security company about suspicious activity. The security company then contacted the police.

“We can confirm that 11 suspects were arrested, and two died. We also discovered a total of 10 firearms,” he said. 

Mawela said the police had launched their annual festive season operation last week. 

“We declared our state of readiness and, among others, to heighten the collaboration between the private and the public sector. This means we will be working closely with the security [companies] on the ground, who are part of the eyes and ears of the police,” he said.