Former police officer one of four caught for ATM bombing

A former police officer and four more suspects were arrested outside Brits on Saturday, 6 February, after allegedly bombing and robbing an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) in Bethanie earlier the day.

According to police spokesperson, Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone, the ATM was blown up in Itloleng in Bethanie on Saturday morning. “A shop owner heard a loud bang from outside his shop in the early hours of Saturday morning and upon investigation, he saw four males at the ATM. Police who were summoned to the scene and confirmed that explosives were used to blast open the ATM. “

On Saturday evening police members on patrol came across a suspicious vehicle with only the driver inside and stopped it. “The 40-year-old driver was questioned and then taken to the police station for further questioning which revealed that he was a former police officer and used to work at Lethabong. The police found four dye-stained and damaged R50 notes in his possession when they searched him. The man subsequently led the police to an informal settlement in Rustenburg where another four accused were arrested. During the arrest, dye-stained notes to the value of R3 700 were confiscated.”

The five accused, Bennet Rasike, (21), Ernest Maguvo (34), Ernest Chauke (23), Saidi Chauke and Peter Motlhabe (40) appeared in the Brits Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 8 February 2021 on charges of negligence causing explosion and endangering property and were remanded in custody. They will appear in the Brits Magistrates’ Court again on 16 February 2021.

Saidi Chauke was additionally charged with illegal possession of a firearm and possession of live ammunition and explosives.