Policewoman held over cop killing

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Pietermaritzburg - A 32-year-old policewoman has handed herself over to police in connection with the fatal shooting of a Pietermaritzburg policeman.

Colonel Jay Naicker said the woman was arrested after she handed herself in, and was expected to appear in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

He said the motive for the killing was not immediately known.

The body of Constable Bongani Lembethe, 29, was found outside his home in Prestbury, Pietermaritzburg, on Monday night. Naicker said robbery was immediately excluded as a motive for the killing.

“The victim was still in possession of his service pistol and his wallet after the attack.”

His girlfriend, Cindi Khanyile, who he planned to marry, was too distraught to speak yesterday but her sister Mpume relayed what had happened.

She said Lembethe, a policeman since 2008, was off duty on Monday and had spent most of the day in bed. He left the house in Pineview Terrace, a complex in Signal Hill, between 5pm and 6pm, to go to the shops and returned at 7pm.

His girlfriend and two daughters, aged two and five, and the nanny were inside. Khanyile said when the children heard their father’s car, they were excited to see him. Lembethe parked in the garage and, as he was approaching the kitchen door, he was shot.

She said her sister went outside and saw him lying on the floor with blood on his face. She then took the children inside, fearing the shooter was still around. While inside, she called the police.

When his girlfriend, a nurse at Edendale Hospital, thought it was safe to go outside, she examined Lembethe and found he was dead.

The complex is surrounded by a precast wall, and entry could be gained through the front, remote-controlled gate or over the wall. The houses in the complex were close to each other and there were no boundary walls separating them.

Provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni expressed her condolences to his family.

The Mercury


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