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2022/09/21      |  Written By:  Captain K Mashamaite   |   Province:  Gauteng

The late WO Frans Chuene Ranoto (51), who was stationed at the Tembisa West Police station has been hailed as a hero. This was a general sentiment shared by different stakeholders, colleagues and friends who came to pay their final respect during his funeral service in Phoffu Village, outside Mokopane in Limpopo Province on 17 September 2022.

Speaker after speaker who took to the podium spoke glowingly about how the late WO Ranoto respected his job.

According to Tembisa West Station Commander, Colonel Lazarus Boloka, WO Ranoto was the most dedicated police officer and a firm believer in discipline.

“WO Ranoto served the community of Tembisa South policing area with passion. He joined the SAPS in 1995 as reservist. He was appointed permanently into the service in 1998 and rose through the ranks. In 2009 he was promoted to a Sergeant’s rank as a sector commander and in 2019, through his dedication and a hard work, he was promoted to WO’s rank. He was indeed dedicated to his job and served with distinction. During his 24-year career with the SAPS, Ranoto served the organisation with dignity and without any blemish on his record, until his untimely passing. It is not easy to replace a person of Ranoto’s stature. We will forever miss him. May his soul continue to find an eternal rest. The community and the family should be rest assured that we will not rest until we find those thugs who killed our beloved member.”

Speaking on behalf of the Gauteng Provincial Commissioner, Brigadier Solly Moichela appealed for a better cooperation between members of the community and police in order to stop police killings. Brigadier Moichela further urged the family to continue seeking bereavement and family counselling services in the SAPS because they will find it difficult to cope going forward.

“SAPS through Employee Health and Wellness (EHW), Social Work and Chaplains Service provides for bereavement counselling and I will urge members of the family to take advantage of that when they find the going getting tougher and overwhelmed. EHW should also be used to access death benefits due to beneficiaries of a deceased member like WO Ranoto who med this death on duty. SAPS also assist children of the deceased who were killed on duty with educational benefits and should there be any need for assistance, please consult the Education Trust to get help. In the beginning of September each year, SAPS hold a commemoration day to pay tribute to those members who died on duty and the name of WO Ranoto will also be engraved on the memorial site. He was a fighter till the end and we have lost a valuable member. May his soul rest in peace. We will remember him.”  

On behalf of the SASOL Oil Management, Mr Michael Nyoni gave an account of what could have happened on the fateful morning, after WO Ranoto and his two other colleagues D/Sergeant Mokobe and Constable Mathebula entered the convenience store to buy food, when they were accosted by heavily armed criminals who were in the process of robbing the store. Mr Nyoni further told the mourners that discussions are underway to place a commemorative plaque where WO Ranoto fell to honour his brave fighting spirit. He also suggested to the community members to think about drafting a petition, a legal framework to help and protect police officers against any retribution while defending themselves against armed criminals.  

WO Ranoto succumbed to head injuries on Thursdasy 8 September 2022 after being admitted to hospital shortly after the incident, while D/Sgt Mokobe who sustained hip and leg injuries and Cst Mathebula who is nursing gunshot wound in the back are still in critical condition in hospital. All members were disarmed of their service pistols. An ADT Reaction Officer Mr Ndlangisa who was reacting to a panic alarm was also shot in his left arm and the left side, also had his fiream taken by the criminials. He was also taken to the nearest hospital and his condition is unknown at this stage. The suspects fled the scene with two getaway vehicles, a Toyota Quantum and a Toyota Corolla Prestige.

The National Police Commissioner has since sent his heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of WO Ranoto and wished a speedy recoveries to the injured members. He has also mobilised for maximum resources to catch the criminals.

As September has been declared as a Safety Month, a heightened period to raise awareness of the need to protect ourselves, SAPS members, particularly in the operational environment are always encouraged to be vigilant of their surroundings an wear appropriate protective gear to minimise injuries on duty. 

Members of the public are also urged to assist the SAPS with the investigations by contacting the crime stop number 0860010111, the nearest police station or through MySAPSApp.


Pall-bearers preparing to withdraw after having laid the coffin of the late colleague on the lowering device during the official funeral service of the late WO Frans Ranoto at the Poffu Village cemetery outside Mokopane in Limpopo Province.