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Ex-CCB man held on R11m gem heist charge

Former Civil Cooperation Bureau (CCB) member Calla Botha was among four men arrested on Tuesday in connection with an R11-million Sandton diamond heist, the Johannesburg daily Beeld reported on Thursday.

Botha admitted during his amnesty hearing that he drove the car from which Ferdi Barnard shot and killed Dr David Webster in Troyeville in 1989.

Beeld said Botha apparently was a professional hunter currently.

Johannesburg police representative Superintendent Chris Wilken said on Thursday the names of those arrested could not be released until they had appeared in court.

”I cannot confirm or deny that Botha was arrested. We will only release names once the people have appeared in court.”

On Thursday, police representative Captain Mashadi Selepe said the four suspects were arrested by the Johannesburg serious and violent crime investigation unit.

They would appear in the Wynberg Regional Court later on Thursday on charges of armed robbery, pointing of a firearm and impersonating a police official.

Selepe said the arrest of two more men, of which one is a Johannesburg-based policeman and the other an ex-policeman was imminent.

Mashedi said the crime was committed last Saturday about 2.30pm when a 37-year-old Sandton diamond dealer was driving along Atholl Street in Bramley.

He was pulled over by robbers posing as policemen and told that they were investigating a case of robbery against him.

When the diamond dealer became suspicious and demanded identification, one of the bogus cops contacted a Bramley police vehicle. A policeman arrived in a clearly marked police vehicle, verified the details and purpose of the bogus cops and instructed the man to cooperate with his ”colleagues”, Selepe said.

The man was escorted to his business in Marlboro, Sandton, where diamonds worth R11-million, R18 000 in cash, wrist watches worth R50 000, a laptop computer, a handgun, two cellphones and other small items were taken.

Police investigating the case said the robbers drove the man to Vereeniging where he was dropped off. – Sapa

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