TWO men were shot dead in Mpumalanga on Thursday morning, 5 May, after reportedly attempting to rob a hitchhiker.
According to Colonel Donald Mdhluli, the two alleged robbers were driving in a silver-grey VW Polo towards the direction of Malelane where they offered a lift to a man who was hitchhiking in Valencia outside Nelspruit.
Mdhluli said along the way, the suspects allegedly diverted to Croc Valley farm where one of them reportedly drew a knife in an attempt to rob the man who was given a lift.
“Further reports indicate that the man also drew out his firearm and allegedly shot both men. One died at the scene meanwhile the other died a few metres away from the scene whilst he was being driven to the hospital. The two are yet to be identified,” Mdhluli said.
He said police were informed about the incident and a case of robbery was opened with two counts of the inquest.
“The firearm used has since been confiscated as well as the knife and the vehicle. The items will form part of the investigation.
“Preliminary investigation suggests that the VW Polo may be linked to other reported incidents of armed robberies where hitchhikers were robbed at various hiking spots around Nelspruit,” Mdhluli added.
Meanwhile, the provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has pleaded with the public to avoid hitchhiking, but rather use another available safe mode of transport to reach their destinations with minimum risk.