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2023/02/20      |  Written By:  Brigadier S Mohlala   |   Province:  Mpumalanga

Nelspruit: 19 February 2023- Members of SAPS's National Intervention Unit (NIU) that were on duty in Barberton arrested a 22-year-old man for attacking police officials this morning Sunday, 19 February 2023 at about 07h15.

Police were doing their routine patrols when they came across two men who had a bag in their possession. As police stopped the two to investigate what was contained in their bag, they chose not to comply but they started running. The members gave a chase that is when one of the two men drew a handgun and started shooting at the police. Police responded by firing back and the suspect was shot, fortunately no SAPS member sustained injuries. The suspect could not produce a firearm licence hence he was arrested for attempted murder and possession of unlicensed firearm. The police summoned an ambulance which took him to hospital for treatment where he is under police guard. Further investigation will be conducted to ascertain if the firearm was not used in other previous criminal activities.

The male suspect is expected to appear in the Barberton Magistrate's Court soon.

The Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela has strongly condemned the attack on police officials whether on or off duty. "We are mandated by the supreme law of the country, the Constitution of the Republic to serve and protect all inhabitants of the country. We are therefore not supposed to be regarded as enemies or targets by our own community members that we have to serve," warned the General.