An off-duty cop from Khayelitsha‚ alleged to be with a gang of alleged thieves who were caught red-handed early on Monday‚ has died after a shoot-out with officers who stumbled onto them.
Brig Novela Potelwa said Harare police who were on patrol in the area came across a light delivery vehicle loading bricks at a construction site.
“As they approached the vehicle‚ four suspects fled. Police managed to arrest two suspects‚ assisted by security guards who were on site. As they were loading the arrested suspects into the police van‚ police came under fire. They returned fire‚” said Potelwa.
“The gunman was hit. He was taken to hospital where he died. It later transpired he was an off-duty police official attached to the Khayelitsha tactical response team.”
At his home‚ police allegedly found a generator stolen in a business robbery in the area.
“It was also discovered that the firearm used by the deceased to fire shots at the police was a service pistol registered in his name. The vehicle that was loading bricks at the construction site belonged to the deceased.”
Western Cape acting provincial commissioner Maj-Gen Thembisile Patekile decried the alleged involvement of police officials in crime. “Not only do they tarnish the name of the SAPS but their actions strain relations between police and communities‚” he said.
The shooting has been referred to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.