Cape Town. 130228. Traffic cops held a roadblock on the M5 today. New radios can now accept ID numbers which will show whether the person has a warrent or not. Reporter Barabara Maragele. Picture COURTNEY AFRICA

Cape Town - A Cape Town traffic officer involved in tough action against motorists with outstanding fines and warrants of arrest has been targeted in a violent attack at his home.

Richard Bosman, the City of Cape Town’s executive director of Safety and Security, said on Thursday the officer worked for the traffic department as part of “Operation Reclaim”, the city’s campaign to bring to book motorists with outstanding fines and warrants of arrest due to unpaid fines.

He would typically man roadblocks, where motorists sought by the state were routinely arrested, and their vehicles impounded.

Bosman said the officer’s identity was not being disclosed to protect his life but the attack had taken place in Wallacedene on Wednesday night, just before 7pm.

“He had just come off duty and was lying on his bed, when his wife told him people were coming to their house,” Bosman explained.

“Three men then burst into his house and locked his wife and child in their bathroom.

“They then told him: ‘We know you, you impound our taxis, where is your gun?’

“He told them he doesn’t carry a firearm but they insisted and one of the three men drew an automatic pistol and fired a shot.

“He was about to fire again when one of his colleagues warned the first shot may have been heard by neighbours and the three men fled,” Bosman said.

The officer was taken to hospital.

“He was hit in the knee, and we visited him this morning. He’s in good spirits, considering what he has been through, and will be operated on this afternoon to remove the bullet,” Bosman said.

“We are also providing counselling support for his wife.”

They would help the officer to find alternative housing, if his life remained in danger.

The attack on the traffic officer comes after taxi drivers allegedly torched, or otherwise damaged, 11 Golden Arrow buses as part of a protest against a steep hike in traffic fines and impounding of taxis.

About R15 million in damage was done to the buses.

Eight men were arrested in connection with the riot that broke out in Nyanga township on Monday morning.

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Cape Argus