The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Fannie Masemola has commended the swift response of the Eastern Cape’s Anti-Gang unit for apprehending a man who shot and killed a 42-year-old Sergeant who was serving as a court orderly at the Motherwell Magistrate Court in Gqeberha on the morning of 3 May 2023.
In the same vein, General Masemola has ordered the mobilisation of resources into apprehending those responsible for the death of a 41-year-old Sergeant attached to the Public Order Police (POP) unit in East London.
According to the police’s preliminary investigation, the arrested suspect entered the Motherwell Court building at about 09:20, disarmed the member, shot and killed him with the state firearm and thereafter fled on foot.
Members of the Anti-Gang unit who were patrolling the area immediately responded and were alerted by a taxi driver that the suspect who was possession of the firearm was in the taxi. The suspect immediately opened fire at the police and members returned fire.
The suspect sustained gunshot wounds and was transported to hospital under police guard. Police also recovered the member’s state firearm. Commuters who were in the taxi at the time were not injured during the cross fire.
At the time of his death, the member had 16 years’ service.
In East London, a manhunt continues for a group of suspects who shot and killed a Sergeant who was at the time of his death, responding to an armed robbery at the Fidelity premises on Monday in the area.
At the time of the member’s death, he had been serving for 14 years.
General Masemola has on behalf of SAPS management condemned both incidents and says police continue to mobilise resources in the fight against serious and violent crime.
“We cannot have a situation where members are killed in a court of law and while responding to the call of duty. Our condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of our fallen heroes. The SAPS continues to prioritise acquiring of additional resources and equipment to heighten police response to fight serious and violent crime, “said General Fannie Masemola.
Both members’ identities have been withheld until their next of kin have been informed.
To both members, the SAPS flag does not fly because the wind blows it: it flies with the last breath of every member who died defending it. May your souls rest in peace.