The Hawks have taken over the investigation into the killing of a 22-year-old constable shot dead in Mfuleni on Wednesday night.

Constable Vuyo Mkhosana was stationed at the Provincial Stabilisation Unit and was off-duty at the time of the incident.

“The Western Cape provincial management expressed their shock about the killing of a police member in Mfuleni last night. They also expressed their heartfelt condolences to the family of the late Constable Vuyo Mkhosana. The off-duty constable, stationed at the Provincial Stabilisation Unit, was attached to Delft SAPS.

‘‘According to reports, the incident occurred last night (Wednesday) at 20.50pm, on the corner of Booi and Jama streets in Mfuleni.

"A murder case has been opened for investigation by the Hawks," said police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana.

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union spokesperson, Richard Mamabolo, called on police management to intensify their fight against police killings.

Mamabolo said it was concerning that killing of police officers, on or off-duty, was becoming a trend.

He said less than two weeks ago two police officers were killed in Gauteng and Mpumalanga.

“We are worried about police management not coming out and giving a clear plan and direction on how to end these killings, instead of expressing shock and sending condolences.

‘‘There should be a clear plan to ensure that those who take the lives of our police are arrested and convicted. There should be legislation to ensure that those who kill police officers get harsher sentences. The killing of police officers cannot go on like this,” said Mamabolo.

Mfuleni Community Policing Forum chairperson Bongani Tyembile said it was saddening to see peacekeepers being killed.

“We always stress with the community to protect police officers because they are not the enemy, but our friends. Police should leave no stone unturned to find the perpetrators,” he said, adding that the killing of police officers had become a “norm” that must come to an end.

In April, police officer Ncedo Katoyi was shot and killed in Khayelitsha after he and a colleague responded to a call. Their vehicle had been parked on the pavement, while he and his colleague had apparently walked to the crime scene.

Police said a gang of six opened fire when the officers returned to the vehicle. Katoyi’s gun was stolen.

The suspects escaped after the constable’s partner fired back and gave chase.

Shortly after the incident, Minister of Police Bheki Cele told police to hunt down criminals and not be the ones hunted by criminals.

Addressing 269 police officers who had been flown from other provinces to the Western Cape to deal with crime, Cele told them: “We are here to declare war on criminality.”

Anyone with information about the incident can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 0860010111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.