‘Helpers’ kill off-duty officer

2011-10-18 00:00

LADYSMITH police officer Sergeant Sibonelo Siyethemba Nkabinde (32) was fatally wounded in a robbery on Sunday evening.

Nkabinde, who is originally from Newcastle, was off duty when he was shot once in the chest. He died in the town’s Laverna Hospital.

Nineteen police officers have been killed in the line of duty in the province since April.

Nkabinde is the 20th.

He worked at the Ladysmith Community Service Centre.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Vincent Mdunge said that at about 8.30 pm on Sunday Nkabinde drove with a friend to Driefontein just outside town.

On their way back to town, where he lived, the vehicle ran out of petrol near the N11 along the Driefontein road.

A VW Polo travelling towards town with two occupants offered to take Nkabinde’s friend to a garage in town to buy petrol while Nkabinde remained in his car.

On their return the two men allegedly demanded money for helping out.

Apparently Nkabinde told the men that he had no money.

One of them shot him in the chest, fatally wounding him.

His friend, whose name was withheld by the police, fled into the veld and was unharmed.

The suspects fled, taking the policeman’s cellphone.

Mdunge condemned the killing of police officers in the province.

“We regard these attacks on our officers in a very serious light and it has to stop. We encourage our officers not to fall victim to circumstances. Section 49 of the law on criminal procedure and evidence allows officers to even kill perpetrators if they endanger innocent people’s lives, including theirs.”

A case of murder is being investigated by the Newcastle organised crime unit.

No arrests have been made.

No funeral details have been announced.

• chris.ndaliso@witness.co.za

 

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