A suspect in the murder of a police constable in Durban this past week was arrested when he attempted to board a bus from Pietermaritzburg to Johannesburg, police confirmed on Sunday.
“The suspect was arrested on Saturday night in Pietermaritzburg while attempting to board a bus to Johannesburg. The suspect spotted the members as they were about approach him and he attempted to flee,” national police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said.
“The suspect was stopped and arrested through the use of the police K9 unit. He was found in possession of a SAPS service pistol which was robbed from a police official in Umlazi in December 2019.”
The man was initially charged with being in the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition and was detained at the Pietermaritzburg police station. He was later transported to the Durban North police station where he was charged with Constable Siphelele Cele’s murder.
Cele was shot and killed on Friday morning when he and another officer stopped a suspicious looking vehicle in Berea. The officers had approached the vehicle from both sides when the passenger shot at Cele, jumped into the driver’s seat and sped off. The initial driver was arrested and the vehicle was later found abandoned in Sydenham.
Naidoo said on Sunday that national police commissioner General Khehla Sitole had ordered the implementation of its 72-hour activation plan which entailed the mobilisation of critical resources including the Hawks, Pietermaritzburg Crime Intelligence, Durban K9 Unit and Flying Squad.
Sitole applauded the apprehension of the alleged perpetrator.
“The arrest of the suspect within 48 hours of the commission of this crime must be commended. This arrest should serve as a deterrent and warning to all who continue to undermine the authority of the State by attacking and killing law enforcement officers.”