Two up for cop killing

2012-10-12 00:00

TWO men, thought to be responsible for the killing of police officer Ajith Krishanlal during a heist at a KFC in New Germany last week, were arrested on Wednesday and are expected to appear in the Pinetown Magistrate’s Court today.

The two, aged 23 and 46, are facing charges of murder, attempted murder and business robbery.

Krishanlal’s partner Jerome Mngoma was badly wounded in the fight and is recovering in hospital.

One of the robbers was killed in an exchange of fire with a third police officer who had responded to Krishanlal’s call for backup. An Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) inquiry into the killing of the gunman prompted an outcry from police.

Police spokesperson Vincent Mdunge said members of the Durban Organised Crime Unit made a breakthrough in the case.

“The first suspect was arrested in the Umlazi area with gunshot wounds thought to be sustained during the shoot-out with the police during the robbery,” Mdunge said.

He added that investigations then led police to the home of the second gunman in Pinetown.

“A firearm as well as a Peugeot motor vehicle used as a getaway vehicle was also recovered,” he said.

Democratic Alliance shadow police minister Dianne Kohler Barnard praised the swift arrest.

“If these indeed are the men responsible for the robbery and killing of the policeman, this is extraordinarily quick and excellent police work,” said said.

“It has been a dark 10 days and the arrest of these men is the first good news we have had in a long time.”

She was referring to a spate of violent crime that included the hijacking of her son two weeks ago in Umhlanga.

“I don’t know whether this upsurge of violent crime is due to the fact that so many officers have been suspended pending the outcome of IPID investigations, but it certainly feels that way.

“We are experiencing a veritable tsunami of crime,” she added.

Krishanlal family spokesperson Yan Govender welcomed the arrests, but said they came as cold comfort to a devastated family.

“I think the arrest of the two men is great, but it is not something that is going to bring Krish back. We are confident that justice will be served.

“We hope that they will be given the most severe punishment for taking the life of a dedicated police officer and family man,” Govender said.

Ntokozo Mngoma said his brother was in high spirits.

“Obviously we convey our sincerest condolences to the family of Ajith. Jerome is recovering well in hospital.”

He described the arrests as “great work by police”.

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