Mthatha - A policeman has been killed in a shootout in Elliotdale, outside Mthatha, Eastern Cape police said on Wednesday.
“It is with great sadness to report that one of our members paid the highest price in service of the people of the Eastern Cape,” said Brigadier Marinda Mills.
She said Warrant Officer Rodges Sithelo and a colleague responded to a robbery at Boxer Super Store around 9pm on Tuesday.
“Indications are that the two police officials assumed that all the suspects were inside the business premises.”
Mills said they noticed too late that one of the robbers was hiding outside the business entrance, and he started firing at them.
“A shoot-out ensued, as the other three suspects joined in the attack on the two police officials,” she said.
Sithelo and one of the gunmen was killed. Another gunman was wounded and was now under police guard.
“Two of the four suspects managed to flee the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash,” said Mills.
Police seized an AK-47 assault rifle and an R1 rifle.
Mills said a task team had been established to track down the remaining robbers.
“We want to extend our most sincere condolences to his beloved, family, friends, colleagues and all the people who shared his life,” said acting provincial commissioner Maj-Gen Chris Ntantiso.