Gauteng police officer shot dead in East Rand riots
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An Ekurhuleni metro police officer has been killed during a looting frenzy on the East Rand, the South African Municipal Workers’ Union (Samwu) has confirmed.
Officer Meshack Mahlangu, an Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department officer, aged 50, was shot dead while on duty. The incident is believed to have happened at the Sam Ntuli Mall in Katlehong on Monday night.
On Tuesday, Samwu said it had learnt with great shock and devastation that Mahlangu, its member, died he was shot while dispersing looters.
“As Samwu, we send our heartfelt condolences to officer Mahlangu’s family, friends and colleagues. It is very unfortunate that an officer has died in the line of duty, assisting in restoring law and order in the Zonkizizwe area,” Gauteng secretary Bafana Zungu said.
Mahlangu was the first reported death of a police officer since the unrest started over the weekend. Four officers were reported to have been injured.
An unconfirmed number of civilians have reportedly also died as a result of the unrest.
Samwu urged police officers to be cautious as they went about their work during the unrest in Gauteng. The union also called on the employer to ensure the safety of security officers.
“We therefore call on all our members in law enforcement that in executing their duties during this unrest, they should do so with great caution as the situation remains volatile in the province,” said Zungu.
“We further call for calm from residents and all stakeholders involved.
“As Samwu, we have proactively approached the South African Local Government Bargaining Council on the need for municipalities to put in place interventions that should be taken to ensure the health and safety of employees during the unrest that has started in KZN, then to Gauteng and seemingly is spreading to other provinces.”