FALLEN OFFICER: Police Minister Bheki Cele laid a wreath at Khayelitsha Police Station for Constable Ncedo Katoyi, 39, who was gunned down in Site C.Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency/ANA
Cape Town - An emotional Police Minister Bheki Cele fought back tears as he stood next to the colleague of slain Constable Ncedo Katoyi, who witnessed the murder of his partner.

Cele choked as he tried to make sense of how Katoyi’s colleague, Constable Mandilakhe Mangxola, was feeling and how traumatic the experience would have been.“They could have both been killed.

“I just wish to understand how he feels, as he stands here helplessly. And, yet you expect us (police) to get used to that kind of life,” Cele said.

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Katoyi, a Khayelitsha Site B officer, was responding to a complaint in Site C with Mangxola when they were attacked by six men. Katoyi died at the scene, while Mangxola escaped wounded, a week ago.

On Tuesday, the SAPS held a memorial service for the murdered constable at the Salvation Church in Makhaza.

Before addressing the audience, Cele broke out in song, expressing the loss of a hero. He urged police to protect themselves and use their weapons.

“Don’t break (the) law by abusing the powers given to you, but also don’t break (the) law by not using the powers given to you. At SAPS we are not a burial society.”

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Cele says in his two months in office he has attended three memorial services for murdered policemen. He urged police not to be kind to cop-killers.

“Cop-killers can’t sleep at home. When the perpetrator is found, don’t knock; kick the door!”

Katoyi’s uncle, Garnet Katoyi, said the family was in pain. “We live with people (who) are inhumane, people who are thirsty for the blood of others.

“Ncedo died in a career he chose for himself. He died doing a job he loved, despite the risks it entailed.”

Katoyi, a Khayelitsha Site B officer, was responding to a complaint in Site C with Mangxola when they were attacked by six men. Katoyi died at the scene, while Mangxola escaped wounded, a week ago. Video: Sandisiwe Ntlemeza/African News Agency.

Katoyi’s wife, Ntombothando Katoyi, and children sobbed as they lit the candles placed on a table with a framed photo of the deceased dressed in uniform.

Dressed in black and carrying their year-old son, she had to be held as she struggled with her emotions.

Katoyi is survived by his wife and three children, aged 16, 15 and 1. He will be buried in his hometown of Cofimvaba, Eastern Cape, on Saturday.

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Cape Argus