Cape Town - A crack team of police detectives swooped on a gang of alleged murderers early on Saturday, arresting five for killing one of the three police officers gunned down last week.
The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as The Hawks, made the arrests between midnight and dawn, provincial police spokesman Tembinkosi Kinana said.
The suspects were four men and a woman, aged 26 to 31.
They were arrested at different places in and around Mfuleni, around 35km east of Cape Town.
Sergeant Theophilus Xolisa Mlindwa, 41, was found murdered next to his abandoned car at 2am on Monday, in Faure Road near Bosasa Extension housing development.
He was off-duty, and his firearm was missing when his body was discovered.
Mlindwa had served in the SAPS since December 27, 2002.
At the time of his death, he was stationed at Gugulethu as a crime prevention officer.
Kinana said the five were due to appear on charges of murder and possession of an illegal firearm at the Blue Downs Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Meanwhile, the killers of the two policemen shot later on Monday were still being hunted.
Constable Monwabisi Shadrake Khaka, 33, and Sergeant Sibongile Ngcawuzele, 37, both based at Nyanga, were shot dead after they responded to a report of a stolen vehicle in the suburb.
“They found the vehicle, which had possibly been hijacked the day before. They called the owners, who positively identified the vehicle. It was a silver grey Isuzu,” provincial police head General Arno Lamoer said this week.
Then the official process of returning a stolen car to its rightful owner had begun. Between 1pm and 2pm the officers sat in their police van, waiting for a tow truck to arrive.
“A person who phoned in was in his house when he heard four or five gunshots,” Lamoer said. “He saw the officers slumped over in the police vehicle. They were both shot in the head and their firearms were taken.”
The attackers had made off in the stolen Isuzu.
Khaka served in the SAPS since 2011 and completed his training at Philippi police college in 2013, while Ngcawuzele served 12 years after completing his training in Pretoria. He lived in Khayelitsha.