Police inspector killed during robbery at shop

2009-01-13 00:00

A long-serving police inspector was killed during a robbery at a cellphone shop in Ladysmith on Monday morning, while walking to work.

Police said three men armed with a gun and a knife entered the Your Choice Cellullar shop on Murchison Street and ordered staff to lie on the floor. They took cellphones, airtime vouchers and cash.

Gunshots erupted and Inspector Thabani Baldwin Zikalala (54) was hit in the neck and chest. Local police said details of the shooting are not clear.

He died at the scene.

SAPS spokeswoman Captain Charmaine Struwig said the robbers fled in different directions following the shooting.

“Police chased two of the suspects into Forbes Street where the suspects ran into a bushy area. Shots were fired at police who retaliated. The armed suspect was shot dead and the second suspect was arrested.”

She said the third suspect was arrested later. Police recovered the gun used by the robbers, however, the stolen goods were not found. “We suspect that there may have been a fourth suspect involved and we are making every effort to trace the suspect”.

Zikalala was employed at the Ladysmith SAPS Community Service Centre and had served in the SAPS for more than 32 years. “Colleagues are devastated by the incident,” said Struwig. Zikalala’s son Nkululeko (27) said his family has lost more than a father. Zikalala is survived by his wife, son Nkululeko and grandson.

A memorial service will be held tomorrow at 10.30am at the Ladysmith police station and a funeral will be held on Sunday at the St Chad’s Anglican church.

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