Cop boss vows to solve taxi death

2012-03-06 00:00

ACTING National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi vowed yesterday the police would do everything in their power to uncover the truth behind the murder of taxi boss Bongani Mkhize.

Mkhwanazi visited Mkhize’s family in Effingham, Durban yesterday.

Mkhize was allegedly shot dead in February 2009 when the National Intervention Unit and the Cato Manor Organised Crime Unit unleashed a hail of bullets on his vehicle in Umngeni Road.

Mkhize had already taken out a court interdict to prevent the police from killing him.

Mkhwanazi, who was accompanied by KwaZulu-Natal provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonye Ngobeni and other high ranking police officials, said they came to see the family to offer them support in their time of need.

“No matter what happened that day, whether it was justifiable or not, the police were the main cause for their family member’s loss of life. We want to show the family our support in whatever way we can,” he said.

Mkhwanazi added that the investigation was still ongoing, and that police had to reach out to the families affected and explain the reasons behind the death of a family member due to police action.

“Either way, family members are always affected by crime because you find that the person who died through police action was supporting the family through the crime proceeds. He could have been a breadwinner.”

He said that the same applied to slain police officers who were also breadwinners.

“Mkhize’s children happened to drive past the scene where their father had died, so imagine the trauma they went through.”

Mkhwanazi also added that there was a departmental investigation that could result in disciplinary action for those who were involved.

“It was one of our colleagues who was involved in his [Mkhize’s] death, so that is why we decided to pay them a visit, as we do with most crime-affected families.

“We are not in the police because we want to murder people, we are in the police because we want to protect and serve. In the process of serving and protecting, unfortunately, some of us lose our lives, but that does not mean we are enemies” Mkhwanazi added.

He said he would be visiting most of the families — even those cases that have not been publicised in the media.

He also thanked the media for raising awareness around the murders, which led to the establishment of an internal inquiry to look into the matter.

Mkhwanazi refused to comment on reports that Mkhize’s family were suing the police for wrongful arrest, saying it was a legal matter.

“… If you are saying the family is suing, it is now a court process. Whether we oppose or not, it is a court process and I cannot talk about that,” he said.

A member of Mkhize’s family refused to comment on the meeting and said any communication and information requests from the family will be received through the family’s lawyer.

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