File picture: Pexels

Durban - A 33-year-old man will appear in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate's Court on Monday for allegedly trying to kill police officers investigating a fatal stabbing. 

According to one of KwaZulu-Natal's police spokespersons, captain Nqobile Gwala, the attempted police killings took place on Friday in the Pata area of Pietermaritzburg, while police were searching for a suspect in an unrelated December murder. 

"It is alleged that on December 26 at 2am, Menelisi Mnikathi (42) was fatally stabbed while at Maqeleni area in Imbali. He sustained stab wounds to the chest and was declared dead at the scene," said Gwala. 

During the course of investigations, Plessislaer police went to the suspect's home, identifying themselves as police, she said. 

"One of the occupants in the house came out and ran away with a firearm in his hand. The police officers gave chase and shots were fired [in their direction], leading to a shootout," said Gwala. 

The suspect sustained a leg injury during the shootout. He was arrested and found to be in possession of an unlicensed firearm with three rounds of ammunition. He will appear on charges of attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. 

A second suspect, wanted for the murder of Mnikathi, was still being sought. 

“The recovered firearm will be subjected to ballistic testing to ascertain if it was used in the commission of any crime in the country,” said KwaZulu-Natal's provincial police commissioner, lieutenant-general Khombinkosi Jula.

African News Agency (ANA)