Polokwane - The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) is mourning the four Limpopo police officers killed in an accident on Thursday.
“While our members live with the knowledge that their lives could come to an end at any moment during the execution of their duties, it remains hard to deal with the paralysing pain that these deaths (have) caused the organisation in the province and nation-wide,” Popcru provincial secretary Hangwani Mashao said.
The police officers and a truck driver were killed in an accident which happened between Mokopane and Polokwane.
Colonel Ronel Otto said the police officers responded to an accident scene where a truck carrying groceries had crashed into the rear of another truck carrying explosives.
“While our members were attending to the scene the truck carrying blasting cartridges caught fire and exploded,” said Otto.
The driver of the truck containing the explosives was not harmed. However, the other truck driver was killed.
It was unclear whether he died from the initial impact or the explosion.
Three other police officers were seriously injured in the blast. Three motorists were also injured.
“The drivers of those vehicles were taken to hospital but they did not suffer any life-threatening injuries,” said Otto.
Popcru also extended its condolences to the family of the dead truck driver and wished a speedy recovery to all those who were injured.
Earlier, government spokeswoman Phumla Williams said the incident should remind people of the important role police played in society.
“On a daily basis, they risk their own lives to fulfil their mission of protecting fellow citizens,” she said.
Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa and national police commissioner Riah Phiyega were expected to visit the families of the dead officers on Thursday.