The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Khehla John Sitole, has conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, relatives and colleagues of six operatives of SAPS who died in the line of duty in two separate accidents in the Eastern Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal provinces.
Security Watch Africa reports that in the Eastern Cape, four operatives who 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, were killed.
Preliminary investigations revealed that the four operatives were killed instantly following a collision between the Police vehicle they were travelling in and a truck, near Engcobo.
Sitole said a fifth person whose identity is unknown also died at the scene of the accident.
“The deceased Police members have been identified as 34-year-old Constable Buqaqawuli Nyembezi who was attached to the Mount Ayliff sector teams. The member had ten years service.
“The second victim has been identified as 35-year-old Constable Frank Lila. This member had 10 years service and was also attached to the Mount Ayliff sector teams. The third victim has been identified as 28-year-old Constable, Lungelo Nogqala. This member had three years’ service and was attached to the Sulenkama Community Service Centre (CSC).
“The fourth victim was identified as 31-year-old Ntombikayise Landu. This member had two years’ service and was a secretary to the District Commander of the Alfred Ndzo District,” he said.
It was also gathered that two operatives stationed at the Harding Police Station in Kwa-Zulu 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.
“These members have been identified as 36-year-old Sergeant Alfred Gqumani and 34-year-old Constable Sifiso Ngcobo. The National Commissioner and his management team are deeply saddened by the sudden departure of these members. The organization was still looking forward to the members’ contribution in crime fighting initiatives.
“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 General Sitole.
He also stated that 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.