Cop shot dead, partner wounded after approaching suspicious men

2015-11-17 12:07

(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Pietermaritzburg - A police officer who was expected to retire in January was shot and killed in Gingindlovu, the second fallen ­officer in just three days.

There have been seven policeman killed while on duty in KZN this year.

Warrant Officer Jericho Mdletshe (52) was gunned down yesterday ­morning when he and his partner ­Constable Senzo Ndwandwe (37) ­responded to a possible robbery near the Shoprite Centre in Gingindlovu.

Regional SAPS spokesperson ­Captain Tienkie van Vuuren, based in Eshowe, said the two policemen were following up on “suspicious activity” near the centre, which runs along the R102.

“They saw a vehicle on the other side of the road. Ndwandwe got out of their vehicle to speak to the occupants of the car. However, they started shooting at him. During a gun fight he was wounded and shot in the neck while Mdletshe, who appeared to remain in the vehicle, was fatally wounded. There were lots of shots fired,” said Van Vuuren.

Mdletshe, in the service for 27 years, was busy finalising his paperwork and was expected to be taking early ­retirement in January. His family, who live in Gingindlovu, was informed of the shooting.

Ndwandwe was taken to an ­undisclosed hospital where he was in a ­“stable but critical” condition at the time of going to press.

According to police, the vehicle, a white Toyota Auris, was later found abandoned about two kilometres down the road. It is thought they were ­working with another group believed to be in a Toyota Quantum.

While no robbery took place it is thought that the group of suspects, believed to be as many as 15 men, intended to hit a business in the town, which was formally a railway hub in Zululand.

On Saturday, Niren Ramsaroop (40) — who served in the police for 21 years — was shot dead in Empangeni.

Ramsaroop was described as a brave and dedicated officer who continued to try and help a robbery victim even after he was shot. He arrested the suspect first before succumbing to his wounds.

On Sunday, Durban Flying Squad’s Warrant Officer Ash Ramsaken was shot in the neck and was rushed to an Umhlanga hospital. He is reportedly in a stable but critical position.

On Sunday the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) encouraged the police to “fight fire with fire”.

Provincial commissioner Lieutenant-General Mmamonnye Ngobeni said in a statement: “We are extremely concerned by the spate of killings of our policemen and women and call on our communities to mobilise against such a scourge. Every day our police officers face the possibility of being killed when they put on their uniform and go out to serve the community.”

The top cop extended her “heartfelt condolences” to the families of the ­deceased while she wished the injured well.

KZN MEC for Transport, Safety and Community Liaison Willies Mchunu called the police killings “nefarious, ­diabolical and tantamount to high ­treason”.

“It is imperative that we have to lock horns with the police and all crime fighting structures to put an end to this inhumane scourge. Equally, those ­responsible for this heinous deed should be brought to justice and ­prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Mchunu.

A SUSPECTED robber was killed in a shoot-out with police in the early hours of yesterday morning in ­Ntuzuma, north of Durban.

He was part of a gang that entered the Ntuzuma Pick n Pay late on ­Thursday evening.

Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said four security guards were on duty when they were approached by a group of armed suspects.

“The security guards were tied up and locked inside a toilet. The suspects entered the building through a ceiling and at about 2 am this morning while they were still inside. The ­police were notified and responded to a business robbery in progress.

“As they approached the scene, it is alleged that the suspects fired shots towards the members and the members retaliated, fatally wounding one suspect. The other suspects managed to flee the scene. The police recovered an unlicensed Norinco ­pistol from the scene.”

Zwane said that nothing was taken from the building and a case of armed robbery, attempted murder and ­possession of an unlicensed firearm was opened at the Ntuzuma Police Station. — News24.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  saps

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