Provincial police commissioner Khombinkosi Jula with Police Minister Bheki Cele and Ntombothando Katoyi, the widow of slain police officer Ncedo Katoyi, at a memorial service in Khayelitsha yesterday. She is holding her 1-year-old baby Ovayo, with Katoyi’s uncle, Garnet Katoyi, next to them. Picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA)
The family and colleagues of slain police officer Ncedo Katoyi gathered at the Salvation Church in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, to pay tribute to the officer shot dead while attending to a complaint last week.

Police Minister Bheki Cele attended the service. He assured Katoyi’s family that his funeral and his children’s schooling would be paid for by his department.

Ncedo and a colleague, Mandilakhe Mangxola, responded to an alleged assault incident in Site C Khayelitsha when they came under fire from six suspects.

Katoyi was shot and killed, and the suspects fled with his service pistol.

Mangxola is believed to have chased after the suspects. There was an exchange of gunshots, but no one was hit.

Katoyi’s uncle, Garnet Katoyi, said the family was comforted by the “richness and profoundness” of Ncedo’s work. He said the family was in pain because Ncedo was a “beacon of hope to our home, to his clan”.

“We are comforted that he died with his boots on. He died doing what he loved most.”

One of Katoyi’s colleagues, Theko Ntoyakhe, described him as soft-spoken and dedicated to his work and family.

“He was a leading member on our shift. It’s not easy for me that he’s passed away because I was one of the first people to go to the scene,” he said.

Ntoyakhe pleaded with community members to treat officers as human beings.

“I am a police officer as much as I am a voting citizen of this country. People must not treat us differently, as enemy,” he said.

Cele said the suspects who killed Katoyi “have no respect for human life”.