Soldiers recover stolen vehicles in Mpumalanga

South African National Defence Force members managed to intercept and recover four stolen vehicles in Mpumalanga near the Mozambican border on Friday.

The soldiers‚ from 14 South African Infantry Battalion‚ were conducting standard patrols along the South African/Mozambican border about 40km south of the Lebombo border post when they heard the sound of vehicles approaching.

On investigation they saw four vehicles driving towards them in a convoy‚ said SANDF spokesman Brigadier-General M Mgobozi.

A soldier tried to stop the vehicles but the driver of one of the vehicles attempted to run over him. The soldier fired four rounds in the air in an attempt to stop the driver. One of the other vehicles then attempted to overtake the first one and two further shots were fired‚” Mgobozi said.

“The security formations then intercepted the vehicles which consisted of two Toyota Hilux double-cab bakkies‚ a Ford Ranger double-cab bakkie as well as a Nissan truck. All the drivers of the vehicles managed to evade arrest leaving keys in the ignitions and ran away from the scene.

“A short investigation by the SAPS revealed that the bakkies were stolen in the North West and Limpopo provinces and the Nissan truck in Gauteng. All vehicles were handed over to the SAPS for further investigation‚” Mgobozi said‚ adding that the value of the veichles was estimated at about R2.1-million.