Attack on police should be declared treason, Sapu says after vicious assault on JMPD officer

The damaged JMPD vehicle. | JMPD

The damaged JMPD vehicle. | JMPD

Published Jun 17, 2024


A Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officer is in hospital after he was allegedly viciously attacked by a Nigerian national during an operation on Sunday.

The officer and his colleagues were conducting an operation in Bloubosrand, Randburg.

Officers from JMPD’s Tactical Response Unit were following a lead on a Nigerian national suspected of drug dealing. As they approached the suspect and identified themselves as police, he called for reinforcements, alleging a robbery. This led to a violent attack on one of the officers.

JMPD expressed its deep concern over the violent assault on one of their officers.

JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla said during the ensuing events, two suspects were shot, one was critically injured and taken to Olivedale Hospital, and the other sustained a hand wound. He was treated on the scene by paramedics and subsequently arrested.

Fihla said that back-up was promptly requested, and officers from JMPD, the SAPS, and Gauteng Traffic Police responded to the scene. A third suspect, who transported the critically injured suspect to the hospital, was identified by the officers and apprehended.

The officer’s firearm was recovered by Douglasdale SAPS and a police vehicle was damaged in the incident.

“The officer sustained critical injuries and required an emergency airlift to Milpark Hospital. We extend our best wishes to the officer for a speedy and full recovery,” Fihla said.

He confirmed that a case of attempted murder and public violence has been opened at Douglasdale SAPS for further investigation. Additionally, a full investigation is under way by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (lpid).

“The JMPD strongly condemns this act of violence against a law enforcement officer performing his duty. The department commends the bravery of the members for their swift response.

“This incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers our officers face every day. We remain committed to serving and protecting the citizens of Johannesburg, and we will not be deterred by these senseless attacks,” said Fihla.

Thobani Nkosi, the regional secretary of the SA Municipal Workers Union (Samwu), Johannesburg region, told The Star that it was not the first time officers were attacked by foreign nationals while performing their duties.

He said the incident happened in Alexandra a few years ago when a female officer was attacked by foreign nationals.

“Our officers are well trained to handle such situations. Their primary fear is that the system ends up failing them because once they apply force, they are labelled xenophobic against foreign nationals,” Nkosi said.

“What gives foreigners confidence to act in such a manner is that they are equally protected by certain SAPS officers who collect money from them as a protection fee.”

Over the years, the City of Joburg has seen an increase in hijacked buildings.

“We are still calling for the shutdown of illegally occupied buildings, illegal businesses, and deportation of unlawful foreigners. We call on the City of Joburg to prioritise the safety of our officers and SAPS to make it a point that they root out corrupt officers from their force. Officers must apply the full might of the law towards anyone who is part of illegal dealings without fear or favour in our society,” Nkosi said.

He urged South Africans to support law enforcement agencies by reporting and informing them of the whereabouts of criminals.

“We will continue to engage with the City of Joburg as Samwu on ways to assure our officers of their jobs security because one of the factors once they act in self defence they become victims of expulsion from employment.

“We have quite a few cases we are dealing with and still dealing with, wherein officers are charged by the city. We wish the officer a speedy recovery. We will keep the officer in our prayers,” Nkosi concluded.

Sapu revealed that in the 2023/24 period, about 111 police officers have been killed in the line of duty.

“An attack on police is an attack on the state. Police killings or attacks should be declared treason as it is crime against the state and the state has a responsibility to protect police officers who are representing the state and not themselves. This action will show that government is taking such barbaric acts seriously,” said Sapu spokesperson Lesiba Thobakgale.

He added that there should be joint efforts made by all role-players to ensure that police killings and attacks are addressed.

“We hope that the seventh administration will heed to Sapu’s call on police killings and police attacks,” Thobakgale said.

The Star

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