PRETORIA – Police have arrested a 30-year-old man for the robbery of 18 students and their professors who are conducting outreach at the Viva Foundation School in the Lusaka informal settlement in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria.
Gauteng police spokesman Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said the man was arrested on Thursday night in Pienaarspoort, an informal settlement in Mamelodi East.
"The police were stifled by the alleged extraordinary suspect and believed that it was only a matter of time before they were found and arrested," he said.
The robbery, which made national headlines, took place on Monday.
It was alleged that a group of about five armed suspects came to the visitors and robbed their personal belongings including laptops, cellphones, cameras, passports, airplane tickets, bags and US dollars.
Peters said that the day after the incident, an intelligence-based operation directed investigators to the car wash in Phase 3 of East Mamelodi, where the Quantum Toyota matched the description of the vehicle used during the robbery was found.
"The vehicle is being processed, which leads to the discovery of important evidence through which the police can confirm that a taxi has been used during an armed robbery commission," he said.
Suspects detained face charges of business robbery, attempted murder and assault. He will appear at Pretoria Judge Court on Monday.
Gauteng's provincial police commissioner, lieutenant general Elias Mawela, praised the investigation team who worked "all the time" to track down suspects.
Mawela urged the team to maintain its momentum.
"Criminals must understand that we mean business. They cannot terrorize our community, especially children and visitors to our country, and think they can get away with it. We will not rest until we are convinced that serious crimes and past violence, "Mawela said.
Africa News Agency (ANA)