The South African Police Service is reeling from losing two detectives among five cops killed in the past seven days. According to TimesLIVE, the detectives were shot and died on Wednesday just metres away from a state vehicle in Roodepoort. National police spokesperson Brig Athlenda Mathe confirmed that three other officers were killed in the line of duty during the same seven-day period. Two officers died in the Eastern Cape, and another was killed in Gauteng.
Mathe described the Roodepoort murders: “Two on-duty detectives attached to the Honeydew police station have been shot and killed in Roodepoort. The constable and sergeant were found metres away from a state vehicle. Gauteng police have mobilised resources to find those responsible for this crime.” At present, the motive of the shooting remains unconfirmed.
The killings have shaken the police service and left many officers in mourning. On Sunday, a constable and his colleagues were shot while attending to a complaint at a house in Saulsville, Atteridgeville. “The constable succumbed to his gunshot wounds in the hospital,” Mathe told TimesLIVE.
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Last Wednesday, a 42-year-old sergeant serving as a court orderly at the Motherwell magistrate’s court in Gqeberha was also gunned down. According to police, the officer died after a man entered the court building, disarmed him, and then shot and killed him with his service pistol before fleeing on foot. The suspect was later wounded in a shoot-out with police when they caught him inside a minibus taxi.
On the same day, armed robbers gunned down another officer attached to the public order police unit responding to the crime in East London.
National police commissioner Gen Fannie Masemola has condemned the murders. The police intend to use all resources to bring the criminals to justice. These tragic incidents remind us of the danger that police officers face daily and the need for continued support and resources to ensure their safety.