Murdered police officer did not want to join force

2010-12-22 07:29

Abel Thenga did not want to become a police officer but joined the force because his family convinced him otherwise and he desperately wanted a job.

His niece, Ntanga Mugwena, remembers how she woke him up to go to work on the fateful Sunday he was shot dead.

Mugwena said: “His death came as a shock, I regret that I woke him up. I should have let him sleep.”

Thenga and Warrant Officer Reuben Kundwani were shot and killed on Sunday night while patrolling the Mzimhlophe hostel in Meadowlands, Soweto, by unknown gunmen who took their guns.

Thenga’s girlfriend, Thuli Kotwane, sat next to Mugwena during City Press’s visit yesterday and used a handkerchief to wipe tears from her eyes.

“When he was called to attend police training in Cape Town two years ago he was reluctant to go, saying that police were being killed but we convinced him otherwise,” said Mugwena.

Thenga, who would have turned 30 on Monday had made plans to marry his girlfriend, buy a house and start his own family in January.

Yesterday, National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele visited the families of both police officers.

Cele later visited the place where the officers were gunned down.

Gauteng police also manned roadblocks around Soweto and raided the Mzimhlophe, Dube, Merafe and Nancefield hostels.

During a press briefing at the Meadowlannds police station Cele told journalists that police had targeted these hostels because criminals who committed serious crimes used them as hideouts.

Cele said: “We found twelve unlicensed firearms, three stolen vehicles, 500 rounds of ammunition, drugs and closed two shebeens at these hostels.”

He said police knew who the killers of the two officers were and were working around the clock to ensure they get arrested.

“We want to make sure that anybody who kills a police officer will have a sleepless night.”

Police said since the beginning of the year 14 police officers have been killed in Gauteng alone. 

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