Cop shoots himself over jail threat after suspects freed

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A POLICE captain from the Lyttelton police station in Centurion apparently committed suicide after he allegedly warned three suspects to flee from a crime scene.

It is alleged that Captain Brian Plaatjies released three armed men on Friday, claiming they were police informants. A reliable source told Pretoria News it was apparently not the first time Plaatjies had released suspects after an arrest.

A police officer who was at the scene on Friday suspected that there was something wrong after Plaatjies warned the trio to “make a run for it”. He immediately alerted a colonel who said the suspects had to be re-arrested immediately or Plaatjies would “face the music”.

The constable and Plaatjies then arrested two of the suspects and while looking for the third, Plaatjies said he wanted to collect something from his Eersterus home.

It was at about 12.30am when the constable stopped in front of Plaatjies’s home.

The police officer who was with Plaatjies later called him on his cellphone to find out why he was taking so long. Plaatjies replied: “I will not go to jail,” and the constable heard a shot.

Provincial head Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said Plaatjies and the officer were working on a crime prevention operation when he asked to go to his Eersterus home. “While they were inside his premises, a shot was heard and it was discovered that he… shot himself,” Dlamini said.

Police officers and his aunt discovered the body. Dlamini said Plaatjies left a suicide note and it would form part of the investigation. Dlamini said Plaatjies’s wife and children, who don’t live in Gauteng, have been informed.

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