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KwaZulu-Natal - Ashreena Jadoo was up early on Wednesday, waiting for her policeman husband to return to their Northdale home in Pietermaritzburg at 6am, after his night shift.
Instead, she received a phone call at 5am that shattered her life. Her husband of three years, Constable Vidhur Jadoo, 30, had been killed.
Jadoo and his partner, Warrant Officer Livingston Mpangase, 40, of the Pietermaritzburg SAPS K9 dog unit, were in pursuit of armed robbers – who were also believed to be ATM bombers – in Howick at about 2am when they were ambushed and shot.
Jadoo died while Mpangase survived despite being shot in the head and leg.
Ashreena said that when she was told her husband was dead, she could not “believe a word” that was said to her.
“I was shocked,” she said, wiping away tears.
She described him as a dedicated policeman who had seven years of service.
He worked for the SAPS VIP protection unit for three years before joining the dog unit.
Jadoo said her husband had worked very hard. Having been married for three years, the couple were planning to start a family.
His colleague, Mpangase, was lying in a hospital bed on Wednesday, pondering over what had wishing things had turned out differently. They had been partners for four years and had worked well together.
“He [Jadoo] was a fantastic partner. He was a quiet gentleman and we always had each other’s back… he was the best partner you could ever have,” Mpangase said.
Police spokesman Colonel Vincent Mdunge said the Howick police had gone to the scene of an armed robbery at Midmar Dam and found that a security guard had been robbed of his cellphone and wallet by two armed men.
The robbers had fired a shot before leaving. The policemen then went in search of them.
In the meantime, the dog unit was called to assist.
A source said the robbers switched off their vehicle and its lights and waited for the policemen to arrive, and when they did, they opened fire on them.
Mpangase, who was the driver, had no time to reverse but managed to return fire. However, after firing one round, his gun jammed.
Mdunge added that the suspects fled in their vehicle, but it was later found abandoned in the area.
A Taurus revolver, a sealed packet with four electric detonators and 10 commercial explosives were found in the car. These were generally used in ATM bombings.
KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni visited the Jadoo family and Mpangase on Wednesday.
She assured relatives and friends gathered at the Jadoo home that police would find the criminals and bring them to book.
“Something like this should never happen. We, as police, are expected to protect citizens,” she said.
Ngobeni urged Howick residents to come forward with information on the suspects because the abandoned vehicle had previously been seen in the area.
Ngobeni also said that the spate of police officers being killed was unacceptable. They were being killed because criminals were afraid of being caught, she said.
Last month policeman Ajith Krishanlal was shot and killed outside the KFC in New Germany while attending to an armed robbery. - The Mercury