DURBAN - Three police officers were shot and killed while two were left wounded in the last 72 hours.
That is according to national police spokesperson, Colonel Athlenda Mathe.
She said the SAPS management called for greater co-operation from communities by actively joining the fight against crime to end the scourge of police attacks and killings.
“In KwaZulu-Natal, a sergeant attached to the Empangeni Flying Squad was shot and killed on the N2 between Mtubatuba and Empangeni. The incident happened on Sunday morning at 7.30am when members of the Empangeni Flying Squad spotted a suspicious-looking vehicle on the highway,” Mathe said.
“When members approached the vehicle, they were met with fire. The 45-year-old member was fatally wounded while another sustained gunshot wounds.
“Three suspects were fatally wounded and police have since mobilised resources and various disciplines within the province to apprehend two suspects who fled the scene.”
Mathe said that in Gauteng, a 45-year-old sergeant attached to the Crime Intelligence office at the Reiger Park police station was shot and killed on Saturday afternoon while following up on information on a murder case at the Joe Slovo Hostel.
“While patrolling the area in his state vehicle, the member was shot multiple times by a group of unknown gunmen. The member who was also disarmed of his state firearm sadly succumbed to his injuries on scene,” Mathe said.
Also in Gauteng, an officer attached to the Eldorado Park police station was shot and wounded while attending to a complaint at an identified address in Freedom Park just after midnight on Sunday morning.
“Gauteng police have since mobilised all resources in a bid to apprehend those responsible for both incidents,” Mathe said.
She said that in Mpumalanga, a 37-year-old sergeant attached to the Kabokweni Visible Policing Unit was killed during a shootout with robbers in the Kabokweni policing precinct on Friday.
“The member was part of a team that was following up on information about a planned robbery when they were met with fire at a guesthouse in the area. Six suspects have since been arrested and eight firearms have been seized,” Mathe said.
She said members of the Employee Health and Wellness unit which includes chaplains and psychologists have been dispatched to provide counselling services to the deceased officers' colleagues, families as well as to those members who are receiving medical treatment in the hospital.
She added that with the management of the SAPS continuously ensuring adherence and compliance to the implementation of the Police Safety Strategy, which seeks to enhance the safety of police officers on and off duty, the need for increased co-operation between the SAPS and communities cannot be overemphasised.
Communities continue to play a pivotal role in sharing vital information by acting as the eyes and ears of our police officers in detecting criminal elements within society.
Mathe said communities are therefore constantly reminded to share crime-related information on the Crime Stop Hotline number on 086000 10111 or download the MYSAPS App on any android or smartphone. Members of the public are reminded that they may opt to remain anonymous when sharing information.