Police hunt gang who ambushed and killed cop on KZN South Coast
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Durban - Police are searching for an armed gang that ambushed and killed a police officer in Umkomaas, on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.
While fleeing after shooting the officer, the gang shot and killed a motorist during a hijacking.
According to the police, the 55-year-old police captain stationed at the Umkomaas detectives unit was killed while he was driving to work in a state vehicle just after 7am.
Police said while the officer was travelling in the Roseneath area, he was followed by a vehicle which had four male occupants.
National police spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili said while the captain’s vehicle was going over a speed hump, the occupants in the vehicle opened fire on his car. She said the officer was shot several times and died at the scene.
“Umkomaas police officers that were conducting patrols in the area spotted a vehicle that was travelling at a high speed and they gave chase,” said Muridili, adding the suspects’ vehicle then crashed into a truck.
She said the suspects fled their vehicle and hijacked and shot dead a 33-year-old motorist who was in the vicinity.
“The suspects fled the scene with the victim’s vehicle. The police are following all leads regarding the suspects. Charges of murder and carjacking have been opened for investigation at Umkomaas SAPS.”
PT Alarms response and tactical units who responded to the incident said they found the motorist lying on the road. “The victim had sustained gunshot wounds to his neck and he was declared dead on the scene,” said a member of the response team.
Police appealed to anyone who might have witnessed the incidents or had information on the whereabouts of the suspects to call Crime Stop.
In the past month, five police officers have been killed in the province.
This includes Constable Sizwe Mthethwa, stationed at Inanda police station, who was stabbed and killed while off duty on February 7. A 19-year-old suspect was arrested in connection with the murder.
On February 18, Constable Mfihloyakhe Ndlovu was killed while responding to a domestic violence complaint in Chatsworth.
Three days later, two police officers, Sergeant Makhosaze Mdlangathi, 33, and Sergeant Mfikelwa Mtolo, 36, were killed execution-style in Taylor’s Halt, near Pietermaritzburg. They were off duty.
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) in the province has raised concerns about the recent murders of police officers.
KZN Popcru secretary, Nthabeleng Molefe, described the killings as an attack on the state and urged communities to assist with information.
Speaking to The Mercury, she said: “We are calling on the justice system to play their part in this matter. Once the suspects have been arrested and formally charged, life sentences must be handed down, nothing less.”
Acting KZN MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Kwazi Mshengu, condemned the incidents and called on law enforcement authorities to hunt down the killers.
He said the surge of police killings was a declaration of war and it was evident that the men and women in blue were being targeted.