Mpumalanga law enforcement officer shot dead during petrol station robbery
Nelspruit - South African Police Service (SAPS) officers in Mpumalanga have launched an intensive manhunt for the suspects who shot dead a law enforcement officer and wounded another at Emalahleni in the early hours of Saturday morning, the SAPS in the province said.
According to information available, a group of about six suspects went to a petrol station along the road to Lynville, near Emalahleni, where they apparently "stormed in and robbed employees of their belongings", SAPS Mpumalanga spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said in a statement.
"They allegedly placed explosives on the counter and threatened to detonate them should the employees try to alert police. The suspects' plan was, however, interrupted by municipal law enforcement officers patrolling in the vicinity who went to the filling station unbeknown there was a robbery in progress," he said.
This resulted in a shoot-out between the municipal law enforcement officers and the suspects. During the shoot-out, Warrant Officer Samuel Nkosi was fatally wounded, while his 53-year-old colleague sustained a gunshot wound to his right hand.
Police and medical services were called to the scene, but Nkosi was certified dead. The wounded officer was taken to hospital, Hlathi said.
Mpumalanga police commissioner Lt-Gen Mondli Zuma called on the community to assist police with the investigation into "this heinous crime". He had also sent his deepest condolences to the Nkosi family and also wished the injured officer a speedy recovery.
“We consider what has happened as an attack to the law enforcement agencies at large and the perpetrators cannot go unabated, they must be found," Zuma said.
Anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects is urged to call Colonel One Thobejane on 082-372-2195, or call the Crime Stop number on 086-00-1011.
Alternatively, they could pass on an anonymous tip-off on the MySAPSApp that could be downloaded to any smartphone. All information would be treated in the strictest confidence and callers may opt to remain anonymous.