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Durban - A Ladysmith policeman has been arrested for murder.

The 36-year-old constable, from Ematsheni police station, allegedly killed a hawker in August, police spokeswoman Captain Nqobile Gwala said on Tuesday.

“The policeman was off duty when he was contacted by a member of the public who spotted a person selling second hand items,” Gwala said. “The policeman went to investigate further and is then alleged to have assaulted the person. The man, later identified as 33-year-old Themba Hlongwane, subsequently died of his injuries”.

Ladysmith Detectives arrested the policeman on Monday.

He appeared in the Ladysmith Magistrate’s Court on a charge of murder.

He was granted bail of R1000, Gwala said, and was due back in court in January.

KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner Major General Bheki Langa said it was disappointing that a person entrusted with enforcing and upholding the law had broken it.

Langa warned that such behaviour would not be tolerated.

He commended the arresting detectives and called the arrest an indication of the police’s commitment to weed out bad elements.

The Mercury