SERGEANT David Hoffman
Cape Town - A 41-year-old police officer, whose investigation played a pivotal role in the successful conviction of triple axe murderer Henri van Breda, has been arrested in connection with the murder of a colleague.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate, confirming the incident, said a police officer now attached to the anti-gang unit (AGU) allegedly shot his 40-year-old colleague, Sergeant David Hoffman, in the head on Saturday night.

Ipid spokesperson Sontaga Seisa said: “It’s alleged that there was a braai at a private house attended by the deceased and the suspect. The pair were off-duty.

“At the braai, the suspect pulled out his service pistol, and shot dead his 40-year-old colleague. He was shot in the head. The motive for the killing is still unclear, and the Ipid investigation is continuing.”

The suspect also investigated the murder of convicted wife-killer Jason Rohde, and the murder and rape case of Stellenbosch University student Hannah Cornelius. And in all these cases his meticulous investigation resulted in convictions for the State.

Provincial police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said the suspect “accidentally” shot Sergeant Hoffman in the head.

Potelwa said: “A 40-year-old off-duty AGU member was shot and killed on Saturday night in Franschhoek in an accident that is the subject of an Ipid investigation.

“It’s alleged the deceased member was at premises in Skool Street, when a group of community members descended in a confrontational manner, but subsequently left.

“Police were called to the house, including the 41-year-old colleague of the deceased. When the shooting occurred, which claimed the life of Sergeant Hoffman, his colleague was with him. The AGU member has since been detained, and an Ipid investigation is under way.”

On Sunday, several police officers expressing their shock and outrage, questioned why the off-duty officer took his service pistol to a braai. They want Ipid to get to the bottom of the matter and determine what really transpired at the Franschhoek premises on Saturday night.

According to the suspect, he was engaging the firearm’s safety mechanism when the shot went off. But a witness, who was standing next to Hoffman, said the suspect was pulling the trigger but nothing happened, and that a shot went off only after the third time.

Hoffman’s friends, commenting on social media, said it was rare for a gun to be fired accidentally. They also asked that Ipid investigate negligence on the part of the arrested officer.

Meanwhile, acting provincial police commissioner Sindile Mfazi expressed his condolences to Hoffman’s family.

Seisa confirmed that the suspect was in custody and that he was expected to appear in the Franschhoek Magistrate’s Court today.

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