Cape Town - The family of a police VIP bodyguard who was shot and killed, along with four others, on Saturday evening in Gugulethu have expressed their disappointment with the SAPS for failing to inform them of the circumstances surrounding his death.
On Monday, Police Minister Bheki Cele, accompanied by national police commissioner Fannie Masemola, visited the family of Lindela Mraqisa, 42, who was shot and killed while seated in a car in NY5, Gugulethu.
In an unrelated incident, the naked body of a policewoman, Asavela Mathe, was found in Mfuleni on Sunday.
Mraqisa had been attached to the Western Cape’s Protection and Security Service (PSS) Division while Mathe was an officer at the Samora Machel police station. At the time of his death, Mraqisa had been assigned as a bodyguard to Cele’s deputy, Cassel Mathale since 2019.
According to police, the five victims in Saturday’s shooting were seated in a vehicle that had been parked on the side of the road at around 11pm when they were shot and killed.
Mthobeli Mraqisa, the dead officer’s brother and family spokesperson, said not only did he lose his brother but as the family they lost two other extended members.
The two other men, namely Nkanyiso Matoto Ngqabe and Christopher Jordaan, shared the same clan name “Mcete” as them and were regarded as family.
“The incident happened on Saturday night but we were only informed on Sunday morning by one of our relatives from Gugulethu. Since the news broke out, none of the investigating officers handling the case came to us to inform us about what could have taken place leading to the shooting or how far the investigations are going. All that we know is from everyone but the police.”
Mthobeli said they went to the Salt River government mortuary on Monday hoping to identify his brother’s body but were not able to because they don’t have proof of his identification as he lost his ID with his driver’s licence on the night of the shooting.
“As a family we feel Lindani’s colleagues failed us. I regard them as colleagues because they all serve under the same oath. Having to wait upon Cele’s arrival today we hope that he will bring along answers of what exactly happened and how we are expected to move forward considering that he lost his belongings.”
Lindani is survived by his wife and four children, three boys and a girl.
Mathale described Mraqisa as dedicated, humble and hard working.
“The number of police officers killed on and off duty remains a concern for the leadership of the SAPS. We need the whole of society and government to fight this scourge.
“Mraqisa was a soft-spoken, dedicated and focused police officer who was always punctual and professional in his conduct. We hope police will find and bring to book those responsible for his death. My condolences go to his family,” said Mathale in a statement.
Mathe had allegedly been out with a friend visiting acquaintances in Mfuleni on Saturday.
“Mfuleni police were alerted to an unknown body that was discovered in Malgas camp, Extension 4, Mfuleni in the early hours of Sunday morning.”
Upon arrival they initiated an investigation. It was in that process that it was ascertained the deceased person was a SAPS member.
“A 30-year-old suspect was subsequently arrested by Mfuleni police. Further investigations about the circumstances that led to her death are the subject of an investigation that has since been undertaken by the Western Cape DPCI (Hawks) investigators,” police reported.
Cele said: “Provincial commissioner has already assigned someone to work with them and make sure that Mraqisa’s missing documents are pursued. Circumstances of Mathe’s death are quite mysterious and sound painful, and we are glad someone has been arrested.”