Durban — Almost two months after allegedly shooting and killing a police officer in KwaZulu-Natal, a suspect is expected to appear in court on Monday (today), charged with the crime.
Hawks KZN spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Simphiwe Mhlongo said that on November 28, Warrant Officer Phumlani Jali, who was attached to Crime Intelligence, was at his home when he was shot multiple times. He was taken to hospital for medical attention and later died due to his injuries.
Mhlongo said that a murder case was reported at Inanda police station and the case docket was allocated to Hawks members from Durban Serious Organised Crime Investigation.
He said members worked together with Crime Intelligence and the suspect, aged 31, was identified.
“He was arrested by the Inanda fieldwork team on Thursday,” Mhlongo said.
“On Saturday, members were alerted about his arrest and he was charged with murder. The firearm will be sent for a ballistics test to ascertain if it was used in the commission of any crime in the country.”
Mhlongo said the suspect is expected to appear in the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court on charges of murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm.
Hawks KZN head Major-General Lesetja Senona welcomed the arrest of the suspect and commended the members for their good work.
Around the time as the incident, the Police Ministry revealed that the SAPS had lost over 70 police officers in the past seven months to criminal attacks and ambushes.
In KZN, Constable Sphesihle Cele, 26, a Public Order Policing member, was shot and killed on November 16, while he and his team members responded to a complaint about a man carrying a firearm inside a tavern in Empangeni. The officer was shot by the armed man and died on the scene. The suspect was then shot and killed by the police.
In Gauteng, Constable Marven Maphoro was shot and killed on November 23, while responding to an ATM bombing at a filling station in Tembisa, Gauteng.
The latest crime statistics showed that 35 officers were killed on and off duty between July and September last year. Since the start of the financial year in April, 78 officers have been killed in South Africa.
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