SAPS officer shot dead, another wounded in Free State
PRETORIA - Two South African Police Service (SAPS) officers from Vierfontein in the Free State have been shot, one fatally, by ruthless criminals.
The two SAPS sergeants, a man and a woman, reported for duty at 6pm on Saturday night. They had been assigned to crime prevention duties and to attend to complaints when they came under attack, the police ministry and SAPS said in a joint statement.
At about 9.05pm, the woman officer called the commander at the SAPS community service centre telephonically and frantically reported that they were under attack and shot by at least three suspects.
The two sergeants had followed a suspicious vehicle from Vierfontein to a road house in Orkney. The officers alighted from the police vehicle to confront the suspects, who also got out of their vehicle. The suspects started to argue with the officers before they opened fire on the officers. They fled the scene with both officers' service pistols and ammunition.
The male sergeant died at the scene after sustaining a gunshot wound to his chest. The female sergeant was wounded in her leg and admitted to hospital where she was in a stable condition. Cases of murder, attempted murder, and robbery had been opened.
Police Minister Bheki Cele offered condolences to the family and colleagues of the deceased officer and wished the wounded officer a speedy recovery.
"Police must leave no stone unturned in ensuring that these criminals, who clearly have no regard for the laws of this country, are found and get to face the full might of the law," he said.
SAPS National Commissioner Lt-Gen Khehla John Sitole had ordered the mobilisation of the SAPS 72-hour activation plan of all the necessary disciplines, including crime intelligence, the Hawks, forensic experts, and detectives to find those responsible and bring them to book. "This team must not rest until these ruthless criminals are all brought to book," Sitole said.
Anyone with information which could assist in the arrest and successful prosecution of the suspects in this case was asked to please contact the SAPS Crime Stop number 086-00-0111 or to provide such information via the MySAPSApp. All information would be treated in the strictest confidence and callers may remain anonymous.
African News Agency (ANA)