Durban -

An off-duty policeman was shot and wounded in Pinetown on Sunday when he stopped a group of armed men from robbing two motorists.

The incident took place under a bridge in Stapleton Road, near the M13 on-ramp, at 2pm.

Police spokesman Vincent Mdunge said the officer, stationed at Mariannhill, was believed to be on his way home. He saw six to eight men, armed with R5 and AK-47 assault rifles, cornering two cars which had been travelling in convoy.

Mdunge said the drivers were shop owners. Police believed the criminals followed them from their workplace.

The policeman intervened and there was a gunfight. He was shot in his leg and two of the robbers were wounded. One died at the scene. The others sped off in two BMWs.

Banks said paramedics arrived to find the injured policeman walking around. They treated him for pain, dressed his wound and took him to Hillcrest Private Hospital. He was later discharged.

An injured suspect was arrested at the KK hostel in KwaDabeka. He was still in hospital on Sunday night, in a critical condition.

The cars used in the attempted robbery had been reported hijacked, a source said.

The Mercury