Cape Town -
A traffic officer was shot and seriously wounded as he pulled away in a marked vehicle from his Mitchells Plain home early on Wednesday.
The City of Cape Town is offering a R50 000 reward for information.
The officer, who has not been named by authorities, was allegedly shot in his right leg by two men next to his house as he pulled his vehicle out of the garage, police spokesman Frederick van Wyk said.
“A 40-year-old traffic official was shot and wounded in Typhoon Street, Rocklands. It is alleged the officer left his home and got into his patrol vehicle. He noticed two unknown suspects standing next to his house. One fired shots at him, wounding him in his right leg. The official returned fire and the suspects fled on foot,” he said.
The motive is unknown and no one has been arrested.
Van Wyk said: “A case of attempted murder was opened.”
On Wednesday, the family of the officer were told by police not to speak to the media.
Relatives, who asked not to be named, said “numerous” shots were fired at about 5.40am, forcing them to scramble to safety in the house.
Neighbours, who were awoken by the gunshots, told the Cape Times the two men ran towards the Kapteinsklip station. “We heard the gunshots and we all rushed out to see what had happened. I saw two guys frantically running towards the railway line and they disappeared into the open field,” a neighbour said.
The neighbour said she heard seven shots.
“When I got outside he (the officer) was in pain. There was blood seeping out of his leg. We called the ambulance immediately because it looked really bad.”
Another resident in Typhoon Street, Farida Jacobs, said the open field next to the railway line had become a hotspot for robberies and muggings.
“My child has been robbed in this road twice and the robbers run to the field and there is no way to get them. We have asked police to patrol the area more often, but this has fallen on deaf ears. We live in fear for our children every day because they can get seriously injured,” she said.
The city’s director for safety and security, Richard Bosman, said the attack “shows a complete disregard for the law and society in general. It does seem as if criminal elements in some cases see our staff as a source of firearms and will try and attack them. Our staff have been advised to be vigilant in all situations, especially when they carry firearms. They have been advised to wear their ballistic armour at all times”.
EMS spokesman Robert Daniels said the officer was taken to Vincent Pallotti Hospital in a stable condition.
Anyone with information can contact Warrant Officer Dedrick April on 084 516 7263, CrimeStop confidentially on 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.