Former HAWKS captain arrested for R107 million heist

APRIL 24, 2015

A former Captain of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (HAWKS) has been arrested for allegedly being involved in the Mpumalanga Standard Bank, Barclays (First National Bank) and Volkskas (SBV) heist of R107 million.

The Hawks’ investigating team, assisted by members of the Task Force, arrested Bhekani Welcome Gcabashe at his home in Bronkhorstspruit on Wednesday. Another team comprising the Technical Operations Management Section’s operatives also hit one of his lavish houses in Belfast.

In both operations, members managed to seize items which would assist in the investigation.

Gcabashe, a former captain who was previously attached to the Mpumalanga Organised Crime Unit, resigned in 2011.

He made a brief appearance in the Witbank Magistrate’s Court on Thursday where he was granted R20 000 bail on condition that he hand over his passport, that he will not interfere with witnesses and report at the Bronkhorstspruit Police Station once a week.

Gcabashe’s arrest brings to 22 the number of suspects who have been arrested since the investigations started last year. 

On 27 April 2014, it was alleged that an armed group raided an SBV depot in Witbank and stole almost R107 million after overpowering two guards and robbing them of their firearms.

The guards were kidnapped while the suspects continued disabling the alarm system and cutting open one of the safes with cutting torches. The suspects allegedly kidnapped two guards who were supposed to relieve two others the following morning.  The four guards were allegedly forced to drink a tainted concoction before they were dumped next to the Kromdraai road in Witbank. 

All the suspects, including Gcabashe, will appear on 10 June for a date in the High Court.