Robbers kill Durban policewoman

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IOL pic july22 bullet casings AFP File picture: AFP

Durban - “I am happy today. God always has a plan for his beloved beings.” This was the last Facebook posting, made in Zulu, by slain Durban policewoman Constable Zethu Cele, 29.

She posted it hours before she was shot dead in a robbery in Warwick Triangle on Saturday night.

Cele and Sergeant Ephraim Zulu were responding to an assault, witnessed at Bentley’s car wash in Wills Road, when they stumbled on the robbery.

Before they could get out of their police van, the robbers opened fire. Zulu survived the hail of bullets and is recovering in hospital.

Tshibangu Kanombo, head of security at the car wash, which doubles as a fast-food outlet, said the robbers escaped with R1 900.

“Taxis park here overnight, so when the security guy heard the hooter he went to open and these guys drove in. He thought it was one of the taxis that park here.”

He said the guard was assaulted and had his hands and legs cable-tied before being bundled behind a container in the car wash.

A passerby told him there were seven armed men in a black Nissan bakkie. The robbery took place at about 8.20pm.

“The police van was coming from the fast-food container side. The robbers were coming out and the police blocked their way. That’s when they started shooting,” said Kanombo.

On Sunday Cele's father, Thembuyise Cele, said the family was in shock. His daughter had been a policewoman since 2005.

“It’s a heart-breaking loss. She was the most loving and God-fearing person; you wouldn’t say she was a policewoman.”

He said even though he knew the dangers of his daughter being a police officer, he never knew “she would die like this”.

She leaves two children.

KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni condemned the attack and vowed that the perpetrators would be apprehended and punished.

The Mercury


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