Police officer shot dead while attending to a hijack in progress
Johannesburg – A police officer attending to a hijacking case was shot and killed on Saturday night in Mpumalanga by gunmen who then fled on foot, police said on Sunday.
Constable Thabo Mdluli‘s killing came a day after that of a KwaZulu-Natal officer Constable Xolani Zulu, who was shot and killed while returning home on Friday evening in Kwa-Nyuswa in Hillcrest. His killers are still at large.
In the latest incident Mdluli and two colleagues were on routine patrol duties in the Kwaggafontein policing precinct and driving along the R573 road in Vlaklaagte when they came across a Toyota Corolla on the side of the road with the hazard lights flashing.
Police spokesman Brigadier Vish Naidoo said the car then sped off as the three officers approached. The police pursued the car, resulting in a high-speed chase for a few kilometers until the vehicle stopped.
“One of the suspects suddenly stopped, alighted from the car and without warning began shooting at the police. The police returned fire but Constable Ndluli was hit. While the other two uninjured members were attending to Constable Mdluli, the suspects fled the scene on foot.
“A remaining occupant in the Toyota Corolla told police that the suspects that fled the scene were holding him hostage after they had hijacked his vehicle. He alleged that the three suspects arrived in a white sedan that had a blue light. The sedan left as soon as they hijacked him. However, before the suspects could drive off with him in the car the three police officers arrived.”
Naidoo said a 72-Hour Activation Plan and all the necessary resources needed to investigate this incident have been mobilised in the province. He also said the officers who escaped the attack have been offered counselling and that the family of Mdluli will also be afforded the necessary bereavement support.
The National Commissioner General Khehla Sitole has sent his condolences to the family and called on the team investigating the incident to make sure that they trace and arrest the perpetrators.
“We need to do everything possible to find these people masquerading as police officers and roaming around hijacking unsuspecting law-abiding citizens. These suspects must be arrested and made to face the full might of the law both for the killing of our colleague as well as for the hi-jacking”, said Sitole.
Those with information on the whereabouts of the suspects are requested to send crime tip-offs on the MySAPSApp or to contact the SAPS Crime Stop number 086 00 10111.”All information received will be treated with the strictest confidence,” Naidoo said.
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