One man was killed and two others arrested following a car chase and shootout on the N3 highway near the Marlboro offramp in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo, the police spokesperson, said officers received information that a group of men using a while Mercedes Benz ML were targeting commuters travelling from OR Tambo International Airport. The officers later spotted the vehicle.
"Attempts to have the... vehicle stop led to a shootout on the N3 near the Marlboro offramp, Johannesburg," said Naidoo.
"One male suspect was shot dead and two other men were arrested. The police also recovered two unlicensed firearms. The Mercedes ML which the suspects were using was reported hijacked in the Norwood area in October this year."
The recovered firearms would be analysed by forensic experts to determine if they were used in other crimes, and there was a possibility that the group could be linked to at least five other "airport-following" robberies.
The suspects that were arrested are likely to face charges of unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition, armed robbery in relation to the hijacked Mercedes and murder because of their dead accomplice.
"This is a significant breakthrough to our efforts to combat crimes in and around the OR Tambo International Airport, especially the crimes where people are being followed from the airport and being robbed," said Naidoo.
The suspects will appear in court on Tuesday. In October, six men were arrested after they were caught following a sedan which was travelling from the airport. One man managed to escape. Back in July, four men were arrested near the airport following a shootout with police after they attempted to stop a vehicle that they believed was being used in the same type of robberies.