Johannesburg - Joburg metro police officers have been advised to be “extra vigilant” after two officers were shot in separate attacks in Soweto at the weekend.
These two shootings, as well as the recent murders of two SAPS officers, have once again turned the spotlight on the safety of the police.
“There is a concern for the safety of officers. Two have been shot in 24 hours,” Joburg metro police department (JMPD) spokesman Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said on Sunday.
“Officers need to be extra vigilant, whether they’re on duty or off duty.”
On Saturday, a metro officer manning a speeding camera on Elias Motsoaledi Road in Dobsonville, Soweto, was shot in what appeared to have been a calculated attack to obtain his his service pistol.
Minnaar said Benedict Zulu was approached by three men while he operated the camera. One of the men shot Zulu in the right leg before they stole his gun and fled into a nearby mine dump.
“He’s in a stable condition but he’s extremely traumatised,” Minnaar said.
Zulu’s superior, Sergeant Lindi Mgcina, said he was an “excellent officer” and was recovering well.
“It (the bullet) didn’t hit any major arteries or bones,” Mgcina added.
Minnaar said the men were believed to have waited until Zulu’s partner went to their police car before carrying out the attack in order to steal the service pistol.
Three men were arrested shortly after the shooting, but Minnaar said the service pistol was not found.
In a separate incident, an off-duty JMPD officer was shot when he stumbled into a robbery of a petrol station in Protea, Soweto, on Friday night.
When he realised the petrol station’s shop was being robbed, he drew his pistol and one of the robbers shot him.
Minnaar said he was in a stable condition.
Meanwhile, two SAPS officers were killed in the line of duty in separate shootings across the country.
In Katlehong, Ekurhuleni, on Saturday night, an officer was performing routine stop-and-searches and pulled over a VW Polo.
“One of the accused jumped out and fired at the officer,” said police spokesman Captain Tsekiso Mofokeng.
The officer was hit by two bullets, one in the leg and one in the chest, and died on the scene. Two men were arrested.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Captain Thulani Zwane said an officer was attending to a robbery complaint in central Durban on Saturday night when an unknown person fired at her.
She died at the scene. Her colleague was injured.