Four men have been arrested for the shooting of a police officer in Coffee Bay in the Eastern Cape.
On Tuesday, constables Lonwaba Soga and Siyabonga Nani were responding to a complaint at Zindidi location in Coffee Bay shortly before midnight, when they were approached by four men.
Two men allegedly approached the police vehicle on the driver’s side while the other two approached the vehicle from the passenger’s side, and then, without warning, one of the suspects allegedly shot Soga, police spokesperson Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana said in a statement.
“The suspects then forced Nani to carry the deceased member, together with the complainant who called the police out and they were all locked in the back of the police van,” said national police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.
The suspects drove off in the police van to a nearby shop where they ordered security to open the gate. They went up to the shop owner’s house and robbed him of an undisclosed amount of money and alcohol and fled in the owner’s Nissan Navara, abandoning the police vehicle.
The Navara was later found abandoned on the way to Mqanduli.
The suspects also took a state-owned 9mm-pistol with several rounds of ammunition from one of the police officers, a police bulletproof vest and both officers’ cellphones.
“Their run was shortened when members of Crime Intelligence, the Hawks and the SAPS National Intervention Unit tracked them down in the Mqanduli and Ngangelizwe areas during the early hours of this morning and arrested them,” said Naidoo.
The suspects were found in possession of six 9mm-pistols, including Soga’s firearm. Several rounds, a police reflector jacket, a police cap and two police bulletproof vests were seized from the scene.