Police mourn death of six officers killed in two separate crashes
Durban - Six police officers were killed in two separate crashes in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal whilst on duty.
Their deaths were mourned by National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Khehla John Sitole who conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, relatives and colleagues of the officers.
In the first incident, in the Eastern Cape, four officers were travelling back home on Sunday from the Chris Hani District where they were part of a SAPS team that were deployed to the area to conduct crime prevention and awareness campaigns, national police spokesman, Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said.
“According to preliminary investigations, the four were killed instantly following a collision between the police vehicle they were travelling in and a truck near Engcobo,” Naidoo said.
“A fifth person whose identity is known also died at the scene of the accident,” he said.
The deceased police members have been identified as 34-year-old Constable Buqaqawuli Nyembezi who was attached to the Mount Ayliff sector teams.
Naidoo said the officer had ten years service.
The second victim has been identified as 35-year-old Constable Frank Lila who had been in service for 10 years and was attached to the Mount Ayliff sector teams.
The third victim has been identified as 28-year-old Constable Lungelo Nogqala.
He three years service and was attached to the Sulenkama Community Service Centre.
The fourth victim was identified as 31-year-old Ntombikayise Landu who had been in the service for two years and was a secretary to the District Commander of the Alfred Ndzo District.
“On the same day, two members stationed at the Harding Police Station in KwaZulu-Natal died after they were struck by a vehicle. At the time of the incident, the pair were busy combing an accident scene for clues when they were struck. The pair sadly succumbed to their injuries on scene,” Naidoo said.
The officers have been identfied as 36-year-old Sergeant Alfred Gqumani and 34-year-old Constable Sifiso Ngcobo.
Naidoo said the National Commissioner and his management team were deeply saddened by the sudden departure of these members .
"The organization has been dealt a severe blow by the sudden passing of these young energetic members. The news of their untimely passing has sent shockwaves through the corridors of every police precinct in the country. We take this opportunity to thank their families for allowing their children to serve the people of this country with diligence until their very last breathe", said Sitole.
The SAPS Employee Health and Wellness Unit which comprises of psychologists and chaplains have been deployed to provide support to the families of the deceased as well as the members who attended to both accident scenes.