Expert Umlazi cop killed

2008-10-20 00:00

The South African Police Services lost yet another policeman when he was killed in cold blood at Umlazi while responding to an incident.

Inspector Sibusiso Jerome Manyoni was the first Umlazi policeman to testify in a High Court case in which the suspect was given a life sentence. His investigation and testimony was believed to be a deciding factor in the stiff sentence handed down.

Since that case, he had been instrumental in many high-profile Umlazi cases.

Manyoni was killed on Sunday while responding to an incident in the Ezimeleni area in Umlazi.

It is believed that he arrived at a local supermarket to assist a complainant when an unknown man opened fire.

Manyoni was shot once in the head. He staggered a few steps before collapsing. He died at the scene, about 100 metres from his police vehicle. The suspect escaped and is believed to be on the run.

In an emotional interview with The Witness, Manyoni’s widow, Thandi, said her husband had been in a good mood before he resumed duty on Sunday.

The father of three had just returned from Umlazi Methodist Church and was in high spirits.

“He loved going to church and was so happy when he came back. He prepared for work and left home. I didn’t realise that it was last time I would see him alive,” Thandi said.

She said that she thought she was dreaming when she found out about the shooting.

“I was in shock. I still can’t believe that he is gone. He was a good man who gave a lot to his job and the community,”she said.

The 50-year-old, who had been employed by the SAPS for the past 30 years, was described by his colleagues as a dedicated policeman who always went the extra mile for others.

His colleague and good friend, Inspector Mduduzi Zuma, said that Manyoni was an expert in the detective branch and was well liked by his colleagues.

“He was passionate about his job. He worked hard on all his cases and will be sorely missed by everyone at the station,” he said.

Zuma said every time a policeman is killed, it has a huge impact on other police officers.

“It’s never easy when you lose a colleague. He was a good man and his death means a huge loss to the police force and the community,” he said.

The Police and Prisoners Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said that police murders are a major problem in KwaZulu-Natal and that every murder means that that there is one less police member to enforce the law.

“South Africa has been plagued with brutal police slayings. Government needs to put more pressure on police killers,” said Popcru’s Simon Madini.

Madini said that ordinary citizens should rally behind policemen as they need support.

“Also, most of these slain policemen are breadwinners in their homes. This turns into a societal matter. What happens to their children when their fathers die?” he said.

Police spokeswoman Superintendent Danelia Veldhuizen said that Umlazi police were deeply shocked by Manyoni’s death.

“We send our condolences to his family. Police are also investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident,” she said.

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