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Durban - The baffling circumstances around the death of a young policeman and another man outside an Umlazi school have left his family bewildered.
The bodies of Constable Sizwe Mhlongo, 26, and the unknown man, thought to be in his twenties, were discovered by residents and the security guard at Umlazi Secondary School on Tuesday morning.
The pair were found in Mhlongo’s locked Toyota RunX with gunshot wounds.
Police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said Mhlongo’s state-issued 9mm firearm had been found inside the vehicle. It had been taken for testing to establish whether it had been used in the shooting.
Mhlongo was last seen by his brother, Sihle, with whom he lived in E-section. He had left the house in his pyjama shorts after chatting on his phone.
The father of a four-year-old boy and three-year-old girl was stationed at the Sydenham police station.
His father, Mzwandile Mhlongo, 56, told the Daily News on Tuesday his son had been building him and his wife a house in his home town of Harding in Southern KZN.
“Sizwe said before he bought his own house in the suburbs, he wanted to build us a house to thank us for bringing him up. It is almost finished, just the tiling (is) left.”
Mhlongo was the middle of five sons. His father last saw him on Friday, when he left home after a four-day visit.
“He said goodbye and that he would see us in September,” said Mzwandile Mhlongo.
Sizwe Mhlongo had been preparing to do a traditional ceremony next month.
His older brother, Steven, said Mhlongo had always wanted to be a paramedic, but after completing his studies at the Durban University of Technology, he had applied for paramedic and police work.
“He had always wanted to drive ambulances and help people. We were very excited as he was the only one of us to go to a tertiary institution,” said Steven. Mhlongo had been accepted by the police in 2010.
“We were happy he got a job. We did not even think about this job possibly endangering his life.”
Steven, who also lives in Harding, drove to his parents’ house and was greeted by his smiling father, who had been expecting him for a trip they had planned to take. “I told him to go back in the house and told him and our mother.”
He said the 56-year-old mother was beside herself, crying uncontrollably and screaming, “Why did they kill my son? What has he done?” before fainting.
Spokesman Captain Myhen Lazarus said his colleagues were deeply saddened and shocked.
“Constable Mhlongo was a dedicated member who enjoyed a cordial relationship with all his colleagues and commanders.
“The manner in which he passed on is particularly hard to accept as he was a conscientious worker who prided himself on his personal safety.
“He will be missed and we would like to extend our condolences to his family in their time of bereavement.”