The chairperson of parliament’s portfolio committee on police, Francois Beukman, says he is appalled by the “barbaric attack” at Ngcobo police station near Queenstown in the Eastern Cape, where five police officers and an off-duty soldier were murdered in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
In a statement, Beukman said the committee described the killing of the police officers as an attack on the state. It extended its “heartfelt condolences” to the families of the killed officers and their colleagues, as well as the eNgcobo community.
The committee called on the community to assist in bringing the perpetrators of the brazen attack to book and ensure that the investigation is expedited.
“Furthermore, the Committee calls for the urgent implementation of police station safety in line with strong recommendations made by the Committee. Among some of the recommendations made is the installation of CCV cameras in police stations across the country.”
Beukman said the committee will request a briefing from national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole on this incident when he appears before MPs next week in parliament.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo, an unknown group of men entered the police station and without warning, randomly opened fire on the members on duty. Five police officers were injured in the attack.
The motive for the killing is unclear, however, it is believed that the suspects could have been involved in an ATM robbery a short distance away from the station.
“Three members were killed instantly in the community service centre. A retired soldier was also shot dead as the suspects were fleeing,” Naidoo said.
“The suspects made off with a police van, taking two other members. The bodies of both these members with gunshot wounds were later found along the roadside, six kilometres from the police station.”
General Sitole has activated a task team to investigate the murders. He is expected to join Police Minister Fikile Mbalula when visits the town later today. Mbalula has condemned the attack and confirmed that the suspects stole firearms from the police station.