By Augustine Ehikioya
Officers of the South African Police Service (SAPS) have launched manhunt after two of their officers were killed and four others injured in the last 48 hours.
This was contained in a statement issued by Colonel Athlenda Mathe of the South African Police Service, Office of the National Commissioner. It was made available on Tuesday to Security Watch Africa (SWA).
It said “Police in Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal Provinces have mobilised the 72-hour Activation Plan following the attack on six Police officers in separate incidents within the last 48 hours.
“The 72-hour Activation Plan entails the mobilisation of various disciplines of the SAPS including Crime Intelligence, Forensic Experts, Detectives, Specialized Tactical Units as well as the Hawks in a bid to apprehend a group of suspects who were behind the attack on the Police officers.
“In the latest incident which happened in the early hours of Tuesday, 05 October, 2021 in Orange Farm, Gauteng, two Police officials were patrolling in an unmarked Police vehicle when they noticed an abandoned bakkie on the side of the road.
“As the Police officers approached the abandoned vehicle to investigate, a group of suspects opened fire on them wounding both members. Sadly, a reservist Constable died at the scene.
“The other member survived the ordeal and he has been hospitalised. The group of suspects fled the scene taking with them the keys of the Police vehicle. A case of Murder and Attempted Murder have been registered.”
The statement also said “In Sydenham Kwa-Zulu Natal, Police officers were conducting patrols along Locksley Drive on Monday morning when they spotted a suspicious vehicle with three occupants. As the said vehicle was approached, shots were fired by the suspects resulting in a shootout between the Police and the suspects.
“A Police officer was wounded and taken to hospital for medical attention. The suspects fled the scene on foot leaving behind an unlicensed firearm and a stolen vehicle which are now in Police custody. A case of attempted murder has been registered.”
It added “Still in Kwa-Zulu Natal, on the evening of Sunday, 03 October, 2021, a Police officer died and two others were wounded in two separate incidents in Greytown.
“In the first incident, two members were driving from Greytown to Tugela Ferry when they stopped alongside the road. An unknown motor vehicle stopped beside the Police vehicle and shot both members. Both members managed to drive to a nearby hospital for medical care. Sadly, one of them, an SAPS constable, succumbed to his injuries and the other member is still receiving medical care at a local health facility in KZN. The motive for the incident is unknown. A case of murder and attempted murder has been registered.
“In the second incident, a member was walking alongside the railway line between Gugulethu and Nhlalakahle Location when he was accosted by two unknown African males. One of the males demanded cash and cellphones. The member surrendered his possessions and thereafter managed to draw his state firearm where he shot one of the male suspects.
“The other male suspect shot the member on the leg and managed to get away. The wounded suspect succumbed to his injuries on the scene and was found in possession of the member’s stolen items. Two unlicensed firearms were also found next to the body of the deceased suspect. A case of attempted murder, inquest and armed robbery have been registered,” it stated.
The National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Khehla John Sitole, the statement said, has condemned the attack and killing of the Police officials and directed both the Provincial Commissioners of Kwa-Zulu Natal and Gauteng to implement the 72 hour activation plan to hunt down the suspects in all cases.
“The National Commissioner has also conveyed his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased members and also wished all injured members a speedy recovery.”
The statement appealed to anyone who may have information on the attacks to contact the SAPS on 086 00 10111, or via MySAPSApp.
“All information will be treated with strictest confidence and callers may remain anonymous,” it said.