Cele pays tribute to slain police officers during joint memorial service in Kraaifontein
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Cape Town - Police Minister Bheki Cele confirmed during the memorial service of two police officers killed while on patrol in Bloekombos that a third person had been in the car and was recovering in hospital.
Reports emerged on Wednesday that a woman had been in the vehicle, but not mentioned in a police statement on the incident on Sunday.
The Hawks had activated a 72-hour plan to apprehend the suspects involved in the ambush shooting of Sergeant Mnakwazo Mdoko, 46, and Constable Mninawa Breakfast, 28, while they were on patrol in Phumla Street, Bloekombos, at about 1.25am. Their firearms were also stolen.
Suspect Mxoleleni Sikhala, 32, was arrested after being questioned by police with three other suspects.
Cele joined the families of the officers for wreath-laying at Kraaifontein police station and a joint memorial service in Brackenfell.
During the service, Cele said the continuous killing of police officers would not be tolerated. He said seven officers had been killed in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape in the past 15 days.
“It’s true that there were three people in the police vehicle and somebody injured is in hospital. The investigation is ongoing to tell us what really happened, the matter is in the hands of the Hawks. Once we find out what happened, we will tell the nation,” he said.
Mdoko’s brother Siphamandla urged the government to provide police officers with more resources to protect themselves from criminals.
“Police have tried their best to arrest one suspect but as the family, we want to know what truly happened and what was the reason for the shooting.
“My brother was not a criminal but a police officer whose duty was to protect citizens. The police should arrest the real criminals behind this.
“We appreciate the minister’s presence and the joint memorial service, but the minister knows very well and he spoke about KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape having a high rate of police killings. What is he doing about that because this is an ongoing trend in these provinces?” asked Siphamandla.