On the eve of Western Cape Police Commissioner Thembisile Patekile’s unpacking of provincial crime statistics which he said encompassed a challenging three months, a cop attached to the Table View police station was shot and killed.
The 54-year-old captain was attacked and murdered at Site 5 informal settlement on Sunday.
His service firearm was stolen by assailants who are yet to be arrested.
“The police member reported on duty in the morning and at about 4pm he went into that area. He was supposed to knock off at 6pm.
It’s those informal settlements where there is lack of accessibility, a deep area where you have to leave your car far. I was told the vehicle he drove was parked about 300 to 500m from where he was attacked and killed.
“According to the information at our disposal, there was a struggle between him and three suspects, remember, at scenes like that you get some information that still has to be pieced together.
“You also don’t immediately get people who speak out about what happened so this is still being investigated,” said Patekile.
According to the commissioner, the officer’s family was informed of the tragic incident and were making their way from Eastern Cape to Cape Town.
His identity is yet to be released.
Provincial police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said the circumstances leading to the shooting were the subject of a police investigation currently in the hands of Hawks’ detectives with the motive expected to be established as the investigation unfolds.
Hawks spokesperson Siyabulela Vukubi confirmed that the matter was referred to the Hawks.
Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen said attacks on police officers and law enforcement should be regarded as attacks on the state.
A total of 1 164 people were killed in the province between July and September 2023, an increase of 114 murders compared with the same period last year.
Patekile attributed the 10.9% surge in murders to gang violence, among other factors.
Delft was leading nationally as the top station with reported murders.
“Many people are released in line with the special remission and others on parole.
“We also had the taxi strike which saw resources being diverted. We also arrested some gang members and leaders.
“This led to intra-gang challenges, fights over leadership and inter-gang, over turfs.
“In the parole matter, an example is in Delft a re-offender was involved in about nine murders causing havoc in the area.
“We need to work with stakeholders to ensure parolees are monitored and children out of school have something to do in order that they are not recruited in gangs,” he said.
To tackle the challenges he said the top 12 stations will be boosted with resources and the AGU will be capacitated.
The police base camp in Hanover Park will also remain in the community.
Community Police Forum board chairperson Fransina Lukas expressed concern about child murders and attempted murders which increased, and incidents due to gang violence.