Surviving Johannesburg cop describes shoot-out as war

2015-04-01 16:05
(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Johannesburg - One of the police officers who survived a shoot-out on the N3 in Johannesburg has described the ordeal as "war".

Speaking at a memorial service of the slain policemen held in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Lesetja Mothiba said he had visited Steven Mafanelo, a surviving policeman of the N3 shoot-out, in hospital.

Mafanelo had told him that "it was war" that unfolded on the stretch of highway.

According to Mothiba, Mafanelo said he had "shot his magazine until it was finished”.

One of the men believed to have been part of a gang that opened fire on police officers on the N3, killing two of them, was a Zimbabwean national, Mothiba continued.

The man's alleged gang members abandoned him at the scene following the shooting on Sunday.

Police found documents on him which led them to his address in Ivory Park, next to Tembisa.

They went to the house where they found his girlfriend.

"His girlfriend works at the Carstenhof clinic," Mothiba told mourners at the memorial.

They gasped in surprise.

Gloves and bandages were found in the man's house.

Mothiba said the gloves were possibly being used to conceal fingerprints at crime scenes while the bandages were used to treat injuries sustained in the line of their criminal activity.

‘Suspicious-looking’

Constable Maisha Mafokoane, Mthokoziseni Myeza and Steven Mafanelo had reportedly spotted what they thought was a "suspicious-looking" vehicle driving along the N3.

They attempted to stop the vehicles and found themselves in a hail of bullets from the vehicle's occupants.

Myeza and Mafokoane were killed in the shoot-out, while Mafanelo sustained injuries.

He was recovering in hospital.

It was believed that Mafanelo’s shots that struck the injured man found on the scene. The suspect was in hospital under police guard.

Following the shoot-out, the gang members took two pistols and a rifle from the police officers. They left behind their own guns and pistol.

‘Brave, young men’

Addressing mourners, Superintendent Amon Kganyago of the Johannesburg metro police department said people in the community were aware of who the criminals were.

"Someone is nursing them back to health... Perhaps there's a doctor or a hospital that is not reporting their injuries," Kganyago said.

Police officials who took the podium hailed Myeza and Mafokoane as brave, young men who served the country well.

Some of the men and women in blue honoured them by rendering poems while the official police band delivered musical items.

As the band played Amazing Grace, soft sobs could be heard coming from relatives of the police officers.

Read more on:    police  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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