King William’s Town - The Hawks were on Monday investigating the death of another police officer, who was killed in a suspected vehicle hijacking, in the Eastern Cape at the weekend.
The officer’s body was found on a field next to the R67 between Fort Beaufort and Seymour on Sunday while President Jacob Zuma was paying homage to slain officers during the South African Police Service National Commemoration Day in Pretoria.
“It is alleged that Sergeant Xola Sowambi, 35 years, was en-route to report for duty on Saturday, 5 September to start the morning shift but he never reached his place of work at Fort Beaufort Police Station. A search operation including K9 members immediately commenced after he didn’t report for duty and his family confirmed that he had indeed left for work,” Eastern Cape police said in a statement.
Sowambi was still dressed in his uniform when his body was found.
His official firearm and wallet were found nearby.
“Preliminary investigations point to a possible hijacking as his vehicle, a Blue VW Polo, was found on Saturday evening in Whittlesea, when it was stopped by the local police and two unknown males were seen running away from the vehicle and managed to successfully escape into a nearby forest,” police said.
Eastern Cape provincial police commissioner Celiwe Binta expressed shock at the murder.
“Our hearts go out to his loved ones and we will remember them in our prayers,” said Binta.
“I request communities to work with us, in sharing information about crime and the whereabouts of criminals to ensure that we deal swiftly and harshly with murderers in our communities.”