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2022/07/26      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mohlala   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 23 July 2022 - The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has strongly condemned an incident in which an off-duty traffic officer, aged 35 was fatally shot at Saselani Trust near Bushbuckridge. The horrific incident occurred in the evening of Friday, 22 July 2022 around 21h00.

According to the report, the traffic officer was driving his VW Polo hatchback (gold in colour) with his two friends then about two armed suspects abruptly emerged alongside the road, wielding a firearm. The registration number plates of the vehicle is HLL 305 MP. The suspects then ordered the driver (traffic officer) to stop but when he did not, they fired shots at the vehicle injuring him. As a result, he subsequently stopped the vehicle whereby the suspects rounded them up and allegedly dragged the injured driver as well as his two friends out of the car. The suspects are said to have then drove away with the victim's car.

It is further reported that the victims were assisted by other motorists who took them to Mapulaneng Hospital where the injured traffic officer unfortunately died on arrival. He has since been identified by his family as Thabo Mashego.

Police at Bushbuckridge opened a case of hijacking with an additional charge of murder and a manhunt was launched for the suspects. Members of the public are urged to come forth with information that may assist in apprehending the perpetrators by calling the Crime Stop number at 08600 10111 or send information via MYSAPSAPP. All received information will be treated as confidential and callers may opt to remain anonymous.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has vehemently condemned the barbaric act and called for the swift arrest of the suspects. "We cannot allow this senseless killing to continue whereby perpetrators not only take the victims' belongings but also their lives. Those suspects must be hunted down and be quickly brought to book" said the General.