Police are probing a culpable homicide case after a four-year-old was killed when a law enforcement vehicle allegedly ploughed into the child during patrols in Mfuleni.
According to mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, LEAP officers were on patrol on Friday on the corner of Uluthu and Suzakhule streets, when the officer driving the double cab vehicle was involved in an accident.
“Stopping the vehicle to investigate, the heartbreaking discovery showed an infant's lifeless body. Paramedics were immediately summoned but sadly the four-year-old was declared deceased,” Smith said.
“While the exact details are still under investigation, according to an eye witness the young boy had crossed the road but realising he had become separated from his friends, had attempted to make a crossing again and had stepped into the roadway as the patrol vehicle approached,” Smith said.
He added that the officer driving at the time was deeply traumatised by the incident.
“For his own safety he has handed in his firearm and has been referred for further counselling.
“The management of Law Enforcement will be engaging and supporting the (child’s) family,” Smith said.
Police spokesperson Joseph Swartbooi said the circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation.
“Mfuleni police responded to a complaint on Friday. Upon arrival in Uluntu Street, Extension 4, at around 6:45pm, they found the body of a four year old who was knocked by a motor vehicle. The victim was declared deceased on the scene by the medical personnel.
“Mfuleni police registered a culpable homicide for further investigation,” Swartbooi said.
City Law Enforcement spokesperson, Wayne Dyason said: “The incident will be thoroughly investigated and the outcome of this internal investigation will determine the way forward. The Saps will also investigate and we will comply with any part of the formal investigation on their part,” said Dyason.
Anyone with information on the incident can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 0860010111, or SMS Crime Line on 32211.