Seven people, including six Fidelity Security Group employees, are behind bars in connection with allegations that they participated in a staged cash-in-transit robbery in Makapanstad, North West and later shared the spoils.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said three of the people were supervisors and another three were security guards, while the seventh suspect was an outsider.
"It is alleged that on March 13 this year, a Fidelity security van was derailed after it was shot at and robbed of an undisclosed amount of money by a group of armed robbers. An unknown number of suspects who were using two vehicles shot at the security vehicle and poured it with a liquid substance and threatened to burn it, forcing the security guards to exit it.
"The security guards who were in the vehicle, were reportedly disarmed and ordered to open the back of the security vehicle where a third vehicle joined in and one of the alleged robbers retrieved an undisclosed amount of money and the gang allegedly fled the scene."
Mulaudzi said preliminary investigations conducted by the North West Serious Organised Crime Investigation team revealed that the officials allegedly conspired and staged the robbery.
"The team managed to recover more than 60% of the loot that they had shared amongst themselves which is going to form part of evidence. The guards' firearms which were allegedly said to have been taken by the robbers, were found at the scene of the alleged CIT [heist] by a member of the public. The investigators shall also look at possible contravention of the Firearms Control Act against the security [officials] who left them at the scene while pretending to have been robbed."
Now Jana Mafalo, Evans Mudau, Johannes Khoza, Cry Ringane, Tshepo Maluleke, Jim Moyo and Segolokoane Makalapa have been charged with theft, malicious damage to property and defeating the ends of justice.
The men were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday last week and appeared in the Themba Magistrate's Court on Friday.
They are expected back in court on March 29.
The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya, has welcomed the arrests.
"It is so unfortunate that those who have been entrusted with the responsibility of guarding these strategic resources, they help themselves and thereafter cry victim. The team of investigators had to spend several days investigating a lie by greedy persons, including their supervisors. No stone shall be left unturned in the search of the truth," said Lebeya.