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Pretoria - The South African Police Service (SAPS) has suspended the two policemen who had allegedly masterminded a series of heists.

The two members of Crime Intelligence, Captain Lesiba Tshabalala, 39, and Sergeant Sekonyela Willby Molefe, 41 -- who are part of a group of six -- appeared at the Sasolburg Magistrate’s Court in connection with a heist involving millions in Vaalpark in February.

They are charged with armed robbery and attempted murder. Their case has been postponed to next Thursday for a formal bail hearing.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Phuti Setati said SAPS management has noted with serious concern the arrest and alleged involvement of the two police officers.

“The SAPS also confirms that these members have been suspended without salaries,” said Setati, referring to the South African Police Service Act, 1995 (Act No 68 of 1995), which indicates that members who are arrested for any alleged offence are deemed to be suspended with immediate effect.

“It is also important to note that SAPS has already begun with the internal investigation, which is running parallel with the criminal investigation in this regard,” added Setati.

Media is reports say that the group had also allegedly planned a heist on trucks transporting gold and bullion to the Reserve Bank. -