Cape Town -
Police have arrested a third suspect for the murder of Klapmuts police officer Steven Britz and have found the the firearm used to shoot him, Western Cape provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer says.
Britz was murdered on April 16 in the Klapmuts policecharge office. He had been manning the office by himself just after 11pm while two of his colleagues were out on vehicle patrol.
Lamoer spoke at the officer’s funeral on Thursday and said he did not have all the details, but that a third suspect was arrested “in the early hours of Thursday”.
“It takes a special person to join the police. But what if that special person in blue has been murdered with the involvement of another special person in blue?” Lamoer asked a packed Lofdal Charismatic Church in Brackenfell.
“I am angry because we need to get rid of those criminal elements within the police force.
“Steven was killed in the safety of a police station. When will South Africans stand up and say ‘enough is enough’ to crime? We can criticise policemen and women, but when the chips are down they are there.”
Britz was found lying in a pool of blood. It is believed three men arrived at the police station and rang the bell to enter. Exactly what happened after that remains unclear. Britz was alone in the charge office because an officer from his four-member shift was on leave.
Britz had 22 years of service in the police. His wife Lee-Anne and sons, Matthew and Michael, were inconsolable on Thursday.
Suspended Klapmuts police constable Luvuyo Patrick Ndevu, 30, and Anele Pantsi, 33, were arrested in connection with Britz’s murder after a police found Ndevu’s fingerprints at the murder scene. The pair appeared in court earlier this week. Their case was postponed to April 30.
Britz was the fourth officer to be attacked in the Western Cape this year and the third to die on duty.
On January 27, a police officer was shot in the head but survived. On February 13 Kraaifontein officer Rozelle Witbooi was shot and killed in Bloekombos. On April 7 Constable Nokulunga Hazel Jako was knocked over by a hijacked car in Strand and the driver was arrested.
Lamoer said Britz’s family had planned to go on holiday the day after he was killed.
“A holiday with their loved one was taken away from them in an instant. How must the family feel? But God will never forsake you. He will lift you up.
“And we at the SAPS will never give up. Nothing will sidetrack us from serving this country of ours,” he said.