Johannesburg - Three men were arrested after they allegedly robbed two Nigerian nationals of their jewellery, cash and other valuable items minutes after one of the victims had arrived in South Africa.
The Star understands that the robbers lay in wait for one of the victims to arrive at OR Tambo International Airport just after 8am on Wednesday before pouncing on them later in the morning.
The robbers were apparently aware of the arrival time of the aircraft and the car to be used to ferry the victims to a house in Heidelberg, south of Joburg.
The robbers are believed to have followed the victims until they reached their home, where they pounced on them.
Gauteng police spokesman Captain Pinky Tsinyane said one of the men, a pastor, went to the airport to fetch his uncle. She said the two drove back home, unaware that they were being followed. “The robbers surprised the victims a few minutes after they arrived at their home.
“One of the men had just got out of the car when he noticed the three men. One of them took out a gun and pointed it at them.
“These robbers then took their bags, jewellery and cash in foreign currency before fleeing the scene,” Tsinyane said.
The pastor, according to the police, followed the robbers on foot as they were still driving around Heidelberg.
The robbers’ vehicle had its registration plates covered with cloth, but the pastor managed to make out the number.
He ran after the car, then saw a traffic cop and police officers on patrol and told them about the robbery.
The officers gave chase.
They cornered the robbers on the Kliprivier off-ramp on the N3. The robbers, according to the police, stopped their vehicle and jumped out. They then fled on foot into the veld. Police followed them and arrested all three.
Tsinyane said the police recovered the stolen goods, including some of the foreign currency, cellphones, watches and various other items stolen from the pastor and his visiting relative.
The men are expected to appear in the Heidelberg Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
A similar series of robberies, some with fatal consequences, occurred in South Africa ahead of the 2010 World Cup.