Eastern Cape cop shot dead on way to work

2015-09-07 13:08
(File, News24)

(File, News24)

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Queenstown - An Eastern Cape police officer was shot and killed while on his way to report for duty at the weekend, the Hawks said on Monday.

"Sergeant Xola Sowambi, 35, was found on Sunday on a farm in the Balfour area with a gunshot wound to his head," spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

He was allegedly hijacked and then shot and killed before the suspects sped off in his car.

Mulaudzi said Sowambi was en route to report for duty on Saturday to start his morning shift, but never reached work.

"A search operation was immediately launched until his car was spotted in Whittlesea. When it was stopped by the local police, two males were seen running away."

Police found a laptop in the car linked to another hijacking in nearby Hogsback last week Friday.

"That vehicle was found smashed in Hogback and indications are that Sonwabi was killed for his car since the other one was no longer drivable."


Acting Hawks head Major General Mthandazo Ntlemeza expressed shock at the killing.

“Barely a day has passed since we commemorated our fallen heroes and here we are mourning another death. This is not acceptable. I have assembled a team of high level detectives to probe this murder," Ntlemeza said.

"There will be no rest until we find who is responsible. My condolences to the family. I want to assure them we will do everything in our power to arrest the suspects, which will bring the family one step closer to closure."

President Jacob Zuma spoke at a commemoration event for slain officers at the Union Buildings on Sunday, stating that police killings needed to be stopped.

"The callous murder of your loved ones was an attack not only on them, but on the state itself. The police represent the authority of the state. They form the bulwark between order and anarchy," he told hundreds of officers and the families of those who were killed.

Zuma said stringent measures were needed to ensure the safety of officers and the public. Gun-wielding men hellbent on causing havoc could not be allowed to threaten the state, he said.

“I have directed the minister of police to do everything possible to provide the police with the tools they need to fight crime effectively - and to protect themselves.”

Read more on:    police  |  hawks  |  east london  |  crime

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