JeVanne Gibbs
2 minute read
18 Aug 2014
3:30 pm

KZN police hunt cop killers

JeVanne Gibbs

A manhunt for six armed robbers has been launched by KwaZulu-Natal police following the death of an officer over the weekend.

FILE PICTURE: SA Police Service members. Picture: Alaister Russell

KZN police said two police officers had been called out on a robbery complaint on Bentley Road in Durban on Saturday night.

“They were fired upon by unknown attackers who fled the scene. Constable Zethu Cele, 29, died on the scene and her colleague was injured and rushed to hospital,” police said in a statement.

“Anyone with information should contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line 32211, anonymity guaranteed.”

No arrests have since been made. The other officer was said to be recuperating in hospital.

Cases of murder and attempted murder had been opened by the Durban Central Police.

Cele’s murder follows the death of Constable Sphamandla Mgaga, 28, who was shot in the chest and neck while off-duty in the Ladysmith CBD in May.

Mgaga had been shot after he assisted his cousin Nonkululeko Mgaga, 28, who had been distraught following an altercation with her boyfriend, a police reservist.

A 38-year-old suspect was later arrested following a manhunt.

Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said it remained “deeply concerned” by the alarming rate of the killing of police officers, which the union believe poses a threat to the country’s stability.

This after the arrest of a suspect implicated in the murder of Warrant Officer Thabo Abednigo Mahlaba, whose body was discovered by a passer-by 13 days after he disappeared in Gauteng.

“The arrest of Mahlaba’s alleged murderer shows the level of determination our members have in carrying out their duties and bringing culprits before the law. This is an achievement we pride ourselves with,” said union spokesperson Theto Mahlakoana.

Following a spate of police officers being killed around the country, national police Commissioner General Riah Phiyega said these kinds of murders remained a major concern.

“As the SAPS family, we are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleagues. We know that their abrupt and untimely passing has caused untold grief to their family members, close friends and colleagues. We remain united with them and we humbly seek solace and peace during this difficult time,” said Phiyega

“… I earnestly appeal to our communities to join us in our efforts to bring an end to this brutality.”