Pietermaritzburg - An alleged rapist was shot dead as he tried to stab a police officer in Bhobhoyi location, near Pietermaritzburg, on Friday, KwaZulu-Natal police said.

Police opened an inquest docket into the 24-year-old man's death, the provincial police media centre said.

“He was being sought for a case of rape which happened at Shiyabazali informal settlement, near Howick, on 27 March 2011.”

It was not immediately clear if the police officer was injured.

Sapa