Suspect arrested for murder of two police officers to appear in court
Cape Town - The 32 year-old suspect linked to the killing of two police officers in Kraaifontein is expected to appear in the Blue Downs Magistrate’s court this morning.
Hawks spokesperson Katlego Mogale said the Hawks’ National Priority Violent Crimes Team, together with members of Kraaifontein police, crime intelligence and K9 have, in an intelligence driven operation, arrested the suspect in Mandela Park, Khayelitsha.
The two officers Mnakwazo Mdoko, 46, and Mninawa Breakfast, 28, were allegedly ambushed by a group of suspects while on patrol duties in Phumla street, Bloekombos, where they came under fire.
Police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut said both Mdoko and Breakfast were declared dead at the scene and their official firearms were stolen in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Soon after the officers were killed, the police and the Hawks launched a 72-hour activation plan to arrest the suspects.
Mogale said the suspect will be appearing on charges of murder.
"The investigation is continuing and we cannot rule out the possibility of linking other suspects to the murders."
The Independent Policing Union of South Africa (Ipusa) general secretary Mpho Kwinika said South Africans must know that the number of police officials was reduced every day they are killed.
“It is even worse when firearms are stolen from police officers as in this case, because it is these weapons that are turned against innocent citizens by these criminals."
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said the issue of police killings was one of concern that could no longer be overlooked.
“We have been worried about these trends for some time, yet there haven’t been successful measures in ensuring it is given the necessary attention,” said Mamabolo.
Part of the problem could be attributed to the challenges of under-staffing and the uneven allocation of resources, he said.
“Having to stretch their operations across a broader number of community populations in smaller groups, increases their likelihood of being attacked.
“It isn’t the first occurrence of this nature, and it will likely continue increasing if there’s no urgent intervention to ensure we get more boots on the ground and prioritise their safety,” he said.
Kraaifontein Community Policing Forum (CPF) deputy chairperson, Nyanisile Tafu, said the Kraaifontein police station was supposed to be a priority station, but there were no resources in the station.
Police Minister Bheki Cele's spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said following a string of gang-related killings, and the ambush and murder of two police officers, Cele is expected to conduct an oversight visit to the Kraaifontein policing area.
Lirandzu said he would also visit the families of the fallen officers Mdoko and Breakfast, who were allegedly ambushed, shot and killed.
Assar Qetelo, a friend to Breakfast, said she was deeply hurt to hear about the death of her friend, saying: "He was a humble guy. I lost a friend."
SA Policing Union (Sapu) acting deputy general secretary Peter Ntsime said the union falls short of words to express its dismay, shock and anger at the continued killings of police officers in South Africa.
"Sapu appreciates and acknowledges the distress expressed by Cele over the recent merciless killings of six police officials in a period of ten days. However, it is of the view that the killing of police officers should be considered as treason, and therefore also deserves the attention of President Cyril Ramaphosa," said Ntsime.