Premier condemns cop killing

2013-06-18 21:38
Nomvula Mokonyane (Picture: Beeld)

Nomvula Mokonyane (Picture: Beeld)

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Johannesburg - The death of Major General Tirhani Maswanganyi is a senseless blow to Gauteng's war against crime, Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said on Tuesday.

"In the memory of Major General Maswanganyi all of us law-abiding citizens should take up the cudgels and say: 'We will not be cowed into submission by criminals. We will honour Maswanganyi by making sure that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are swiftly brought to book'," she said.

The 52-year-old policeman's body was found in a field near Hammanskraal, north of Pretoria, on Tuesday morning, police said.

His family told investigators he left home to go to work shortly after 14:00 on Monday.

"Approximately 03:00 this morning, the body of the officer was found in a bushy area next to the road," Gauteng commissioner Lieutenant General Mzwandile Petros said.

"His hands and feet were tied up."

A police patrol found Maswanganyi's abandoned Isuzu bakkie next to the R101 on Monday evening. A police uniform and a police identification card were in the bakkie, which prompted a search.

Police were waiting for a post mortem report on the cause of death. Petros said there were no gunshot wounds to the body.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said Maswanganyi's death was a loss to South Africa.

He had been in the police for 31 years.

"The SA Police Service [SAPS] is poorer. The Gauteng provincial team is poorer. The people of Johannesburg are poorer. The people of Gauteng and of the entire South Africa are poorer," he said.

He condemned the killing of police officers.

"We have emphasised the point before that policing remains a very difficult and challenging duty.... On a daily basis our members face dangerous and vicious criminals, who will not hesitate to kill them."

One policeman's life lost was one too many, and enough was enough, he said.

'Senseless murder'

The SA Police Union (Sapu) also condemned Maswanganyi's death.

"We want to condemn with the strongest terms possible the senseless murder of this top cop," said Sapu General Secretary Oscar Skommere.

"His cold-blooded murder has robbed the SAPS, as he was one of a few career officers who have dedicated their lives [to] the fight against crime in our society."

The DA extended its condolences to Maswanganyi's family, friends, and colleagues.

"By all accounts he was a dedicated policeman who keenly felt the need to make a difference in the fight against crime," DA MPL Kate Lorimer said in a statement.

Petros said a team of detectives under the leadership of the deputy provincial commissioner for detective services, Major General Tebello Mosikili, and investigators from the provincial investigation unit and organised crime would investigate the murder.

Read more on:    police  |  da  |  sapu  |  kate lorimer  |  mzwandile petros  |  nomvula mokonyane  |  nathi mthethwa

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