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Johannesburg - Two policemen shot and wounded in an attempted robbery in Hillbrow were in stable condition in hospital, Gauteng police said on Tuesday.
Daniel Zwelinjani Ndima, 29, and Mphedziseni Sidwell Khumalo, 30, were taken to Milpark Hospital on Monday after they were shot during a confused chase of robbers in the area.
Another policeman, Michael Thembani Tshomela, 31, was shot dead, Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said.
They were all constables based at Hillbrow police station.
Dlamini said a manhunt had been launched for two robbers who attempted to rob a store in the area. Investigations were still continuing.
Police managed to arrest one man after the attempted robbery.
The saga started when police officers ran after one of the suspected robbers.
Ndima, in a police van, also followed him and when he blocked the robber's path he was shot and wounded in the neck.
Two other officers, in civilian clothes, followed the shooter with their weapons drawn when they were confronted by other officers who thought they were fleeing criminals. The two constables were shot. Tshomela was killed and Khumalo wounded.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate was investigating.
On Tuesday, national police commissioner Riah Phiyega described the incident as a tragedy.
“Yesterday, could have been a tragedy of good intentions - purely a police tragedy,” she said in Pretoria. “We (the police) are not trigger-happy people.”
Phiyega said the police did not operate on notions or sayings like “shoot to kill”. Instead, they sought to do their work “in the spirit of the Constitution”. - Sapa