Cape Town - Two police officers have been shot and wounded as attacks on law enforcers continue unabated.
Details are still sketchy after the pair were attacked inside a silver-grey VW Polo at the corner of Abonwabisi and Koornhof streets in New Crossroads, Gugulethu.
Police spokesperson Wesley Twigg said circumstances surrounding the shooting incident on Tuesday, at about 3.15pm, where two off-duty police constables were shot and wounded were under investigation.
“Gugulethu police attended the crime scene, where they found the victims with gunshot wounds to their bodies. The victims were taken to medical facilities. According to reports, they were driving in the street when they came under attack.
“Two counts of attempted murder were registered for investigation.”
Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen said the shootings of law enforcement officers, which include SAPS officers, were highly disturbing and unacceptable.
“This latest incident shows what little regard criminals have for life. I regard an attack on any law enforcement officer as an attack on the state.
“Officers are representatives of the state, whether on or off duty they protect, enforce and uphold the laws of the country. I’m pleased that the officers did not lose their lives and wish them a speedy recovery.
“The first-quarter crime statistics, April to June, show that two SAPS officers lost their lives. Although this is one fewer when compared to the previous year, it is still two too many. I encourage anyone with information to make it available to any and all law enforcement agencies, so that the perpetrators can be arrested and convicted,” he said.
In six weeks, five officers have been attacked. Four were off duty.
On July 30, off-duty officer Toufeeq Williams was killed as he held his daughter in his arms. He was walking in Beacon Valley when he was shot in the head. Zamikhaya Kwinana was in an official vehicle when he was shot while on duty in Nyanga. This happened during the taxi strike and no one has been arrested for the murder.
On Saturday, at around 1am in Hillview, an off-duty officer was shot in the head. The City is offering R250 000 for information that may lead to the conviction of the shooters.
Criminologist Guy Lamb said the LEAP officers have been disproportionately being affected by the violence.
“This is largely derived from the fact that the Western Cape has a fairly high level of available illegal firearms which means that the officers are exposed to that and as a result there probably needs to be more focus by all policing bodies, including SAPS, to ensure to collect as many illegal firearms as possible.”
The Western Cape Provincial Community Police Board (WCPCPB) said they were deeply saddened and devastated by the recent attacks on dedicated law enforcement officers.
“These officers serve as the guardians of our community. As the WCPCPB, we firmly emphasize that any form of crime against members of the public is utterly unacceptable, and the senseless act of (trying) to take another person's life should never occur in this day and age.
“While we cannot definitively ascertain the motives behind these attacks, we are aware of previous threats against uniformed personnel. It is possible that these incidents are opportunistic in nature, but it is more likely that the primary objective is to obtain firearms.
“The WCPCPB urgently calls upon all members of our community to report any suspicious behaviour and any criminal activity they witness, no matter how insignificant it may seem.”
Anyone with any information about the shooting incident on Tuesday is asked to contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111.