Three arrested in police killing case

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Police tape off an area after a crime scene.

JOHANNESBURG - Three people have been arrested in connection with the murder of a South African Police Services (SAPS) warrant officer in Thohoyandou.

“The suspects were arrested by a team of detectives who were investigating cases of robberies in the Mogwadi area.

"They followed up on information on Wednesday evening and traced the suspects in the Thohoyandou area,” said Limpopo police spokesman Colonel Ronel Otto.

She said the three men had been linked to business and house robberies and hijackings in Thohoyandou. Further investigations linked them to the killing of the officer.

Warrant Officer Thomas Mabada (52) was shot and killed on Tuesday night while pursuing suspected armed robbers on the road between Siloam and Thohoyandou.

“Police had received information about a suspected vehicle and they followed it. The vehicle turned onto a gravel road and when the police vehicle followed suit, shots were fired.

"Warrant Officer Thomas Mabada was shot,” Otto said.

The vehicle was later found abandoned.

Police confiscated laptops and cellphones from the suspects. Otto said more arrests were imminent as investigations continued.

The trio would appear in the Thohoyandou magistrate’s court soon to face charges of armed robbery and murder.