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By Gareth Cotterell

Digital Editor

Police officer killed by robbers during Cape Town hostage drama

The robbers opened fire on the police after holding staff hostage during a business robbery.

A 48-year-old police sergeant from Table View died on Friday after being shot in the head during a robbery at Killarney Gardens, Cape Town.

Western Cape police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa said police responded to a business robbery at an industrial park, where staff in the building were being held hostage at gunpoint.

A shootout followed when the robbers tried to flee the scene. As they ran out, the robbers started shooting at the police, who then returned fire.

“Sadly, a 48-year-old police sergeant from Table View, who sustained a gunshot wound to his head, died on arrival at a medical facility in the area,” said Potelwa.

Another police officer was shot in the leg. Two of the robbers were also injured in the shootout.

“One robber, a 34-year-old man, was wounded and arrested on the scene. Meanwhile, a second suspect, aged 36, who also sustained a gunshot wound, was apprehended in the vicinity,” said Potelwa.

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Two other suspects are still at large and a manhunt has been launched.

“We undertake to use all resources at our disposal to hunt the outstanding suspects. They must be brought to book. In the same breath, we warn police members to be vigilant at all times as they face brazen criminals who would stop at nothing in the execution of crime incidents,” said Western Cape provincial commissioner, Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile.

Hawks detectives have opened murder, attempted murder and armed robbery cases.

Robbers sentenced to 20 years

Meanwhile, four robbers were sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment at the Knysna Regional Court on Thursday.

The robbers entered the home of a 53-year-old woman and her family on 3 August 2021. The men, armed with a panga and screwdriver, attacked the victims before stealing jewellery, cellphones and other personal items.

The suspects, Tomas Halaiwa, 39, Gabriel Heita, 38, John Kaimbi, 30, and Yonela Khatala, 24, were arrested the next day as they tried to flee to Cape Town in a taxi.

The robbers were sentenced to five years for housebreaking with the intent to commit robbery, and 15 years for robbery with aggravating circumstances, said police spokesperson Sergeant Chris Spies.

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