Port Elizabeth - The gang believed to be responsible for the murder of five police officers and a retired soldier at Ngcobo police station in the Eastern Cape were tracked to a church where a crack law enforcement team confronted them on Friday night.
According to the Hawks, Seven suspects allegedly involved in the Ngcobo attack this week were shot dead during a shoot-out with a police special task force.
The multi-disciplinary task team established to investigate the murders made a major breakthrough when they fatally shot seven suspects in a shoot-out at the Mancoba Seven Angels Ministries Church at Nyanga village, the Hawks said.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said more than 10 other suspects were arrested while others managed to escape. One police officer was wounded and was recuperating in hospital.
The task team, which comprises of the Hawks, crime intelligence, the national intervention unit, and the tactical response team, followed up on information of a possible gang that was responsible for Wednesday night's attack on the police station.
“The group, which uses a church as a hiding place, was cornered inside the church premises. A gun battle between suspects and police ensued which left seven suspects dead and a task force member injured in the legs,” he said.
An unknown number of suspects managed to escape and police were searching for them. A number of firearms were confiscated, Mulaudzi said.
Five policemen from Ngcobo police station were killed on Wednesday night by unknown gunmen who robbed the police station of 10 firearms and fled the scene with a police vehicle they hijacked from two policemen, who they then murdered. The police van was later found abandoned in a ditch off the road a few kilometres from the police station.
The five policeman were identified as Warrant Officer Zuko Mbini, 45, Constable Zuku Ntsheku, 38, Constable Nkosiphendule Pongco, 32, Constable Sibongiseni Sodlana, 32, and Constable Kuhle Metete, 27. A retired soldier, 58-year-old Freddy Mpandeni, was also shot dead when the suspects fled the station.
African News Agency/ANA