Johannesburg - Police have opened a case of attempted murder and an inquest after a police officer gunned down a civilian who had stabbed another man in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, in the early hours of Monday morning.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said that the police were on patrol duty along Wolmarans Street when they chanced upon two men engaged in a fight. One of them held a knife and the other had a stab wound.

Makhubela said that when the police tried to intervene and calm the situation down, the suspect became violent.

"The man with a knife turned on the police and threatened them with the knife. He was fatally wounded. The one who had been stabbed was immediately taken to hospital and is in a stable condition," Makhubela said. 

Police were deployed to Hillbrow and Braamfontein in Johannesburg ahead of New Year's eve celebrations on Monday night. VIDEO: Siphelele Dludla/ANA

"We have opened a case of attempted murder and also an inquest into the death of the suspect. The police officer who shot him has not been arrested."

Makhubela said that the reason for the two men's quarrel will form part of the police investigation. 

Earlier on Sunday, a large contingent of police Nyalas was deployed to Hillbrow and Braamfontein to maintain law and order as the revellers near the city centre have become notorious for starting fights and throwing old furniture out their building windows as part of New Year's celebrations.

African News Agency/ANA