An off-duty cop was killed in a shootout with South African Police Service (SAPS) members in the early hours of Monday, 14 June. Cape Town SAPS said the incident occurred while they were arresting two suspects that allegedly stole bricks from a construction site in Harare, Khayelitsha.
OFF-DUTY POLICEMAN KILLED IN SHOOTOUT
Harare SAPS members were on patrol in the area in the early hours of Monday when they noticed a light delivery vehicle loading bricks from a construction site. Police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said four suspects ran off when they saw police approaching.
“Police managed to arrest two suspects assisted by security guards who were on site,” said Potelwa. “As they were busy loading the arrested suspects into the police van, police came under fire. They returned fire.”
The gunman was wounded in the shootout and died in hospital. Later, it was discovered that the deceased was an off-duty police officer attached to the Khayelitsha Tactical Response Team. The Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID) was informed, said Potelwa.
SERVICE WEAPON USED TO FIRE AT SAPS
Further investigation by the police took them to the deceased’s home, where they found a generator stolen in a business robbery in the Harare area. They also discovered that the weapon the deceased used in the shootout with police was his service pistol – it was registered in his name.
Furthermore, the vehicle that was being used to steal the bricks from the construction site also belonged to the off-duty policeman.
The acting police commissioner in the Western Cape, Major General Thembisile Patekile, slammed the involvement of police officials in criminal activities. Patekile vowed to root out crooked cops within the provincial police department.
“Not only do they tarnish the name of the SAPS but their actions strain relations between police and communities,” said Patekile.