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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Suspect arrested for killing cop at Eastern Cape court

The suspect entered the Motherwell court just after 9am on Wednesday, disarmed, shot and killed the police officer.


A man who allegedly shot and killed South African Police Service (Saps) official at the Motherwell Magistrates’ Court in Gqeberha is under police guard in hospital.

It is understood the suspect entered the Motherwell court just after 9am on Wednesday, disarmed the police officer, shot and killed him with the state firearm and thereafter fled on foot.

Arrest

Police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said the man was arrested by members of the Anti-Gang Unit.

“They were patrolling the area and were alerted by a taxi driver that the suspect who was in possession of a firearm was in the taxi. The suspect immediately opened fire at the police and members returned fire.

“The suspect sustained gunshot wounds and was transported to hospital under police guard. Police also recovered the state firearm. Commuters, who were in the taxi at the time, were not injured during the cross fire,” Mathe said.

Mathe said at the time of his death, the officer had 16 years’ service.

Saps national commissioner, Lieutenant General Fannie Masemola, has commended the swift response of the Eastern Cape’s Anti-Gang Unit.

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Counselling

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development spokesperson Steve Mahlangu said trauma counselling will be offered to staff members.

“Unfortunately, the department is not in a position to comment further regarding the incident pending an official investigation into the matter. All staff members who witnessed the incident will be afforded trauma counselling service and psychosocial support.”

Sergeant killed

Meanwhile, a manhunt has been launched for a group of suspects who shot and killed a police sergeant who was responding to an armed robbery at the Fidelity premises on Monday, also in the Eastern Cape area.

Police killing condemned

Masemola condemned both incidents saying that police continue to mobilise resources in the fight against serious and violent crime.

“We cannot have a situation where members are killed in a court of law and while responding to the call of duty. Our condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of our fallen heroes. The Saps continues to prioritise acquiring of additional resources and equipment to heighten police response to fight serious and violent crime,” Masemola said.

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