A war is raging between police members and criminals who have no fear of opening fire on members of the law in KwaZulu-Natal, Zululand Observer reports.
Reports of suspects being shot and killed after opening fire on police members are becoming more frequent as police try to maintain order and peace.
Last week Police Crime Intelligence members, together with King Cetshwayo Cluster Detectives, received information about five suspects who were travelling from KwaMthethwa to commit an armed robbery in Melmoth.
Police intercepted the vehicle at the Melmoth and Nkwaleni intersection, where the suspects opened fire. Gunfire was exchanged, and one suspect was shot and killed.
The others were arrested and charged with procession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition as well as attempted murder.
Gloves, a bolt cutter as well as other instruments that could be used during robberies were also recovered.
The four arrested suspects were taken to Eshowe Police Station, where they have been detained prior to a court appearance.
King Cetshwayo Cluster spokesperson Captain Mbongeni Mdlalose echoed sentiments made by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, who earlier this year noted that “police must be ruthless against those who are armed and want to undermine the law and order of this country”.
“If they shoot you, shoot back and shoot to kill and don’t allow yourself to be killed,” the minister said in a message to police officers.
Meanwhile Mdlalose said this should act as a deterrent for those who think they are above the law.
“The time for criminals who feel that they can do as they wish has come and gone. Our members are ready to take on criminals who think they can open fire on the police without any repercussions,” he said.
It goes without question that criminals are becoming brazen in their attempt to evade police.
In additions, two incidents in Durban this month again brought to the fore the amount of disregard criminals have for authority.
Three suspects were fatally wounded in the shootout with police while two were arrested after police officers spotted a white Mercedes Benz, with five occupants along the N2 north bound freeway near Queen Nandi Drive earlier this month.
This after, much like the suspects in the Melmoth shootout, police had attempted to stop the vehicle after receiving a tip-off of a planned robbery.
In a separate case, three suspects were shot and killed near Pinetown last week after opening fire on police following a cash-in-transit heist.
– Caxton News Service