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Criminals operating in Chatsworth’s Silverglen Nature Reserve have shot and wounded a police officer.
Warrant Officer Marlin Christopher Pillay, 39, was found wounded by his colleagues who were patrolling the area on Tuesday.
The police officer was believed to have stopped to search a man when he was attacked by three armed men, who fled, said a source close to the investigation.
Police spokesperson, Captain Thulani Zwane, confirmed the officer had been alone at the time and said police were investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
Pillay’s state-issued firearm was found on a pathway in the reserve about an hour after he was shot.
He was is in a critical but stable condition at the Chatsmed Hospital, said his brother, Revel Pillay.
“The bullet went through his left arm and lodged in his back.
“He had lost a lot of blood before he could be transported to hospital by a colleague,” Revel said.
The incident has sparked outrage among residents who called for more police patrols.
Chatsworth Community Policing Forum chairman, Logan Chetty, said the residents of Unit 5 and Silverglen were constantly being targeted by criminals who used the nature reserve as their base.
The policing forum had held talks with the MEC for human settlements and public works, Ravi Pillay, and the management of Chatsworth police station two weeks ago, asking for patrols to be “beefed up”.
“We appreciate the work done by the police thus far. At the meeting there was a suggestion made to introduce police horses to the area. The MEC said his department would build horse stables in the area,” Chetty said.
“The area has been taken over by criminals and is very volatile. The shooting of a policeman shows the severity of crime in the area. He (Pillay) is a hard working policeman.”
A spokesman for the department, Mbulelo Baloyi, confirmed that the issue of introducing horse patrols in the area had been discussed.
“The CPF has put down their grievances and suggestions. The MEC (Pillay) will relay this message to MEC for community safety Willies Mchunu,” Baloyi said.
Chetty said the area around the nature reserve was a throughfare and detour for many residents travelling by car to and from work.
He said the Croftdene CPF sub-forum, led by Annoop Rampersadh, has been conducting night patrols in the area to reduce crime at night.
Pillay, of Mobeni Heights, has been a police officer for 20 years. He is based at the Kwa-Dagengezi Chatsworth policing cluster. He turns 40 on September 21.
“He is passionate about what he does. As much as we advised him to leave the police service he did not want to… Three things matter to him the most:
“His work, family and fishing,” Revel said. - Daily News