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Three police officers gunned down in KwaZulu-Natal

Media Statement from National Media Centre
Corporate Communication

South African Police Service

Durban - Today the National Commissioner of Police, General Riah Phiyega together with a delegation of her Top Management visited the families of the police officers who were killed last night.

"My visit here today to the Kingdom of KwaZulu-Natal is not an auspicious one", said General Phiyega. "Over the past 24 hours yet another three of our police colleagues had fallen at the hands of criminals", added General Phiyega.

The three police officers were killed last night in two separate incidents. The first incident occurred at approximately 21:30 when three police officers from the Harding police station responded to an alarm that went off in one of the wholesalers in the Harding town.

Unbeknown to the officers there was armed robbery in progress and when they drove toward the wholesalers, the suspects opened fire at the police vehicle which caught alight. The suspects then fled the scene. Bystanders managed to rescue a female police officer from the vehicle whilst our other two colleagues died in the vehicle which burnt on the scene.

The deceased have been identified as Constable Mpendulo Welcome Jaca (37) and Constable Zamukwanda Wiseman Majoka (34).

In the second incident, police officers from the KwaMashu Crime Prevention unit were conducting crime prevention duties along Xolani Road in the KwaMashu Men’s Hostel and whilst they were raiding an illegal tavern they encountered resistance from hostile residents in the area. During the process a shot was fired and Sergeant Sandile Humphrey Mbhele (37) was shot in the head. He was taken to hospital where he died on arrival.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss we have experienced. I want to extend my heartfelt condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of our colleagues who had passed on", said General Phiyega. "We are confident that as we work tirelessly to arrest all of the perpetrators they will be brought to book", General Phiyega added.

The National Commissioner has tasked that a multidisciplinary team, including our Crime Intelligence and Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (Hawks) in this province to mobilize its resources as soon as she heard of these attacks last night.

Police immediately conducted follow up operations and two suspects were taken in for questioning in respect of the KwaMashu incident. Police also recovered 3 illegal firearms from the suspects which will be sent for ballistic testing to determine whether it was used in the shooting of the member or any other crime for that matter.

The team shall not rest until all of those responsible for this heinous crimes are behind bars. General Phiyega has advised that these Ruthless criminals rather hand themselves over because police have unleashed all their might and resources to track them down.

Media enquiries: Colonel Jay Naicker- 082 556 7865