Cop killed in shootout with suspects in Marikana
RUSTENBURG – An on-duty 36-year-old police sergeant was killed during a shoot-out with alleged wanted suspects in Marikana near Rustenburg, North West police said on Tuesday.
Spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone said Sergeant Julia Makgareetsa who was stationed in Marikana, was gunned down on Monday, while visible policing members were following up on information about suspects who had been committing serious and violent crimes in the area.
"The suspects were at their hide-out at RDP Section, Rooikoppies in Marikana when they spotted the police and fled on foot. The police got out of their vehicles and chased the suspects.
"Following a shoot-out that ensued between the suspects and the police, Sgt Makgareetsa was allegedly struck by a bullet in the chest and succumbed to her injury while a 30-year-old suspect was wounded and arrested," he said.
The suspect was under police guard in hospital. He was found in possession of a 9mm Norinco pistol loaded with two rounds of ammunition. He is expected to appear in court once he is discharged from hospital.
"Provincial commissioner Lieutenant General Sello Kwena has since mobilised the 72-hour activation plan in an effort to track the remaining suspects, conveyed his condolences to the member’s family, relatives and colleagues.
"He pointed out that killing police officers is totally unacceptable and would never be tolerated as that does not only affect the much needed service delivery, but also undermines the authority of the State," Brigadier Mokgwabone said.
In an unrelated incident, Constable Tshekiso Tshabalala, 39, appeared in the Wolmaransstad Magistrate's Court on Monday, facing charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless and/or negligent driving.
Constable Tshabalala was captured in video that went viral on social media platforms on Saturday.
In the video, Tshabalala in full uniform is seen struggling to stand steady on his feet to inspect the police van he was driving when he hit a fence in Tswelelang near Wolmaransstad.
Brigadier Mokgwabone said preliminary investigation revealed that Tshabalala was not authorised to drive state motor vehicles and he would face an additional charge of use of motor vehicle without owner's consent.
Departmental investigation would also be instituted against him.
Tshabalala was granted R500 bail and his case postponed to January 25 for legal representation.