A policeman was shot dead, his colleague injured and their firearms stolen when a gang of robbers ambushed them near Eshowe in northern KwaZulu-Natal.
The incident was one of two where police officers were brazenly attacked by criminals in the province this week after two other officers were attacked in Inanda in the early hours of Friday morning.
In the first incident, police said Constable Jabulani Mavundla stationed at Mbongolwane police station near Eshowe and his partner came under fire after responding to a complaint of a robbery in the Maqhogo area.
On their way back to the station, it is alleged that they were ambushed by the criminals who opened fire at them. Constable Mavundla was shot and the vehicle lost control, hitting the trees nearby. He died at the scene. His colleague was taken to hospital for treatment. The suspects stole Mavundla’s service pistol and rifle before they fled the scene . Charges of murder, attempted murder and robbery were opened at Mbongolwane police station for further investigation.
KwaZulu-Natal Acting Provincial Commissioner Major General Bheki Langa condemned the killing.
“This is totally unacceptable and we will not rest until the perpetrators are brought to book. I have tasked the Provincial Organised Crime Unit to investigate this case and ensure that those involved will be arrested. I wish to convey my sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Constable Mavundla who died as a hero protecting his community. I appeal to the community to assist us by providing information that will lead to the arrest of the suspects,” he said.
In another incident, police officers were patrolling Inanda in the early hours of this morning when they spotted a Toyota Tazz with seven suspects. When police approached the vehicle they came under fire.
“Two police officers were wounded and taken to hospital for treatment. They are in a serious but stable condition,” police spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Thulani Zwane said.
The suspects fled the scene.
“However their vehicle was found abandoned at Phoenix with bloodstains. Two counts of attempted murder have been opened at Inanda police station for further investigation,” Zwane said.