A sergeant attached to the Empangeni Flying Squad, in northern KZN, was among three police officers who were gunned down in separate shooting incidents across the country during the weekend.
This prompted the SAPS top brass to call for greater co-operation from communities by actively joining the fight against crime to end the scourge of police attacks and killings.
SAPS spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said:
She said the sergeant attached to the Empangeni Flying Squad was shot and killed on the N2 between Mtubatuba and Empangeni yesterday morning. The shooting happened after members of the Empangeni Flying Squad spotted a suspicious looking vehicle on the highway.
“When members approached the said vehicle, they were met with fire. The 45-year-old member was fatally wounded while another sustained gunshot wounds.
“Three suspects were fatally wounded and police have since mobilised resources and various disciplines within the province to apprehend two suspects who fled the scene,” said Mathe.
Officers gunned down in Gauteng
In Gauteng, she said, a 45-year-old sergeant attached to the crime intelligence office at the Reiger Park Police Station was shot and killed on Saturday afternoon while following up on information on a murder case at the Joe Slovo Hostel.
“While patrolling the area in his state vehicle, the member was shot multiple times by a group of unknown gunmen. The member, who was also disarmed of his state firearm, sadly succumbed to his injuries on scene,” Mathe said.
Also in Gauteng, a member attached to the Eldorado Park Police Station was shot and wounded while attending to a complaint at an identified address in Freedom Park just after midnight yesterday morning.
Mathe said Gauteng police have since mobilised all resources in a bid to apprehend those responsible for both incidents.
Murdered in Mpumalanga
Meanwhile, in Mpumalanga, a 37-year-old sergeant attached to the Kabokweni visible policing unit was killed during a shootout with robbers in the Kabokweni policing precinct on Friday. The officer was part of a team that was following up on information of a planned robbery when they were met with fire at a guesthouse in the area. Mathe said six people have since been arrested and eight firearms have been seized.
“With the management of the SAPS continuously ensuring adherence and compliance to the implementation of the police safety strategy which seeks to enhance the safety of police officers on and off duty, the need for increased co-operation between the SAPS and communities cannot be overemphasised,” said Mathe.
She said communities continue to play a pivotal role in sharing vital information by acting as the eyes and ears of our police officers in detecting criminal elements within society.
Communities can contact the Crime Stop Hotline on 08600010111 or download the MYSAPS App on any android or smart phone. Members of the public may opt to remain anonymous when sharing information.