Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Cele applauds fight against crime in face of cop killings

Police National Commissioner General Bheki Cele on Tuesday commended police on fighting crime over the weekend despite the recent spate of murders of police officers on duty.

“The members of the South African Police Service have, over this past weekend, shown that they can rise to the occasion of protecting the community even over a period when four of their own — gunned down on duty in the prime of their lives — are being buried,” Cele said in a statement.

The Hawks had arrested a second suspect, a 22-year-old man, in connection with the killing of two on-duty policemen in Kraaifontein, Western Cape. Warrant Officer Girshwin Matthee and Constable Cannon Cloete were buried over the weekend, Brigadier Sally de Beer said.

On Monday just after 10pm police responded to an ATM bombing in Elsburg on the East Rand. As police arrived on the scene the men fired shots at them, wounding a constable in the leg.

Also on Monday, KwaZulu-Natal police arrested two men wanted for wounding Warrant Officer Simphiwe Mthembu on March 13 and robbing him of his firearm.

The men have already appeared in the Nyoni Magistrate’s Court on attempted murder and possession of unlicensed firearm charges.

De Beer said the two suspects, Skhumbuzo Khoza and Scelo Mncube, were remanded in custody together with a third suspect, Bonginhlanhla Zungu, who was arrested on the day of the attack.

On Saturday at about 5pm members of the K9 and Durban flying squad pulled over a suspicious car while patrolling the Chatsworth area.

When officers stopped the vehicle the occupants opened fire. The officers returned fire and fatally wounded one suspect, injuring another and arrested the third man unharmed.

Two firearms were recovered from the men.

The men, aged 36 and 37, appeared in the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court on charges of attempted murder and possession of unlicensed firearms on Tuesday.

On Friday at about 8pm police responded to a call out of a house robbery in progress in Heidelberg, Gauteng, De Beer said.

“As the police arrived at the premises, suspects opened fire and a shoot-out ensued.”

De Beer said a police reservist was shot seven times, but was recovering in hospital.

The three men were all killed and three firearms were recovered on the scene.

Cele said he applauded police for their bravery and dedication.

“Even during our gloomiest days we can lift morale by squeezing the space for criminals and making a decisive impact in the fight against crime,” he said. — Sapa

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Canna-business deal for Ingonyama Trust land

Foreign investment has been lined up for a joint venture with the Ingonyama Trust Board, which administers tribal land for the Zulu monarch

NPA ‘refuses’ to prosecute Oscar Mabuyane

The Hawks have accused the NPA of ‘dragging its feet’ despite voluminous evidence against the Eastern Cape premier

More top stories

ANC Durban election candidate shot dead while on door-to-door campaign

One other man was shot dead and two others were rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds

Rule of law drops globally, including in South Africa

Security and corruption prevents the country from ranking higher on the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index for 2021

Slice of life: ‘I can read nine or 10 books...

David van der Westhuizen, a street bookseller based at the KwaZulu-Natal Society of the Arts Gallery in Durban, tells Paddy Harper how he survives unemployment

South Africa opens up vaccinations for 12 to 17 year-olds

Vaccinology researcher Professor Shabir Madhi said young people were being vaccinated to reduce the number of people who could transmit the virus and the focus should instead be on people over the age of 50

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…