The South African Police Service management in the Eastern Cape has expressed shock and dismay at the shooting of police officers which left one of them fatally wounded on Monday, 19 October 2020 at Mhlakulo Administrative Area in Tsolo.
Preliminary investigation suggested that the shooting incident was part of a police chase of about eight armed robbery suspects who held up two G4S security vehicles that were carrying money in the area of Port St Johns at about 19:30 near Dangwana Locality. According to the reports, the suspects had forcefully stopped the two security vehicles by blasting one of them, seized firearms from the security guards and began opening the safes to retrieve money.
While the suspects were busy taking money at the scene, TRT members who were returning from Port St Johns saw the incident and even before they enquired, the suspects escaped in two vehicles, a white double cab Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux and the chase ensued to the direction of Libode.
As the chase continued, one of the vehicles was later spotted at Mhlakulo which is where the shooting took place. On seeing the police, the suspects fired shots at the police vehicle and consequently one of the TRT members, a 41-year-old, Sergeant Mzoxolo Gxothani, was fatally wounded in the upper body.
The chase continued until the suspects vanished in Nqadu forest. All the suspects are still at large with an undisclosed amount of cash. Cases of Armed Robbery and Murder are under investigation.
The Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Liziwe Ntshinga has conveyed a message of condolences to the bereaved family, colleagues and friends of the murdered police sergeant. “As SAPS management we are indeed devastated at the news of this cold blooded killing of our member. Criminals need to be reminded that the killing of a police officer amounts to an attack on the authority of the State. This habit cannot be allowed.” Those found to have been involved in this at of cruelty, will definitely have to face justice. General Ntshinga concluded.
The member was on deployment duties in the OR Tambo District at the time of his death. He was stationed in East London TRT.
Anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of the suspects, is requested to please contact the nearest police station or call the SAPS Crime Stop number 08600 10111. The information supplied will be treated with strictest confidentiality. No arrest has been made at this stage.
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