Dobsonville community in shock after two police officers killed

2015-09-09 21:16
(Thomas Hartleb, News24)

(Thomas Hartleb, News24)

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Johannesburg - A woman threw her head back and cried when the forensic investigators opened the driver’s door of the white Ford Figo on Xazi Street, Dobsonville, Extension 2.

Another woman covered her mouth with her hand when she saw him. He was behind the wheel and was slumped over the front passenger seat.

Only his brown trousers and a hint of a dark green shirt were visible. His colleague had died at Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg earlier on Wednesday afternoon.

All four of the Ford's side windows had been shot out. There was a single bullet hole in the front windshield. On the road next to the passenger side of the car was a pool of dried blood. Seven yellow plastic cones had been placed in the road behind the car.

At the shebeen on Xazi Street, people stood on beer crates peering at the scene from behind a cinderblock wall, a 13-year-old boy among them.

Several drunk men staggered around or lounged in the shade. One man arrived and proudly produced a bottle of J&B Scotch Whisky. Someone else sang "zigizigizigi".

Killers took their service pistols

The two victims were a 50-year-old warrant officer and a 40-year-old constable from the Moroka police station. They were attached to the family violence and child protection unit, Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.

Eight men in two Golf GTis had chased them. The officers crashed head-on into a white Mercedes-Benz, on a slight uphill, near the corner of Setsile Street, next to the shebeen, around 13:00 on Wednesday.

After they were shot, their killers took their service pistols and the dockets they had with them, Dlamini told reporters.

The occupants of the Mercedes-Benz were unhurt. Another police officer, who did not want to be named, said they were a couple and their daughter.

Forensic investigators in blue protective suits with shoe covers took notes and photos. The wind flapped their papers and tugged at the yellow police tape. Ballistics expert, Captain Chris Mangena, who testified in Oscar Pistorius’s trial, took photos and gave instructions to his colleagues.

A white forensic pathology van arrived and pulled up next to the Figo. Police officers parked several cars around the two cars and closed the Figo’s driver’s door, to stop the onlookers from seeing the body being taken out.

Police officers and forensic investigators stood around the dead man and fussed over him for a while. At 16:30 they put him into the van. At 16:43 he was driven away.

'This is an attack on the state'

Bright purple plastic rods were inserted through the bullet holes in the Figo’s interior. Mangena spoke to a man in a suit wearing a red vest with the words "crime scene officer" in white lettering on the back.

Mangena gestured and appeared to be indicating that the shots were fired from the rear of the car at the two officers in the front. He helped a colleague yank open the panel on the front passenger door.

Using a piece of cardboard, another investigator scraped blood and bits of glass from the cover of a brown folder he had taken from the boot and put on the road. He slipped the folder into a clear plastic evidence bag, streaked on the inside with blood. His hand in a blue glove, he held the bag gingerly by a corner, and put it back in the boot.

More things were taken out of the car and tossed on the pavement. A wheel spanner, the spare tyre, a black umbrella, the jack, a box containing yellow and pink bags.

Earlier, a officer used the public address system of a police car to ask the crowd behind the police tape to come forward with information.

There would be a "very good reward", he said.

"This is an attack on the state and an attack on the country," he said.

'It was a war'

A man in a black pinstripe suit and lacquered black shoes arrived. He looked concerned. Other officers addressed him as "general".

"Why?" he asked. "Why?"

Linah Monnaemang, 71, said all she heard were the shots. Her house is behind the shebeen, on Setsile Street.

"I've never heard anything like this in my life. It was a war. It was terrible. It's not safe, but where can you live?" she asked.

Hours later, Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane told journalists that the province was winning the war against police killers.

The number of criminals who were either killed or arrested due to their involvement in police killings was a clear indication of how they were winning the war.

"We will continue hunting them down and arrest as many as possible to stop this senseless killing of our police officers," she said.

Wednesday’s murders brought to 60 the number of officers killed countrywide since the beginning of the year.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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