Murdered police officer did not want to join force

2010-12-22 07:29

Abel Thenga did not want to become a police officer but joined the force because his family convinced him otherwise and he desperately wanted a job.

His niece, Ntanga Mugwena, remembers how she woke him up to go to work on the fateful Sunday he was shot dead.

Mugwena said: “His death came as a shock, I regret that I woke him up. I should have let him sleep.”

Thenga and Warrant Officer Reuben Kundwani were shot and killed on Sunday night while patrolling the Mzimhlophe hostel in Meadowlands, Soweto, by unknown gunmen who took their guns.

Thenga’s girlfriend, Thuli Kotwane, sat next to Mugwena during City Press’s visit yesterday and used a handkerchief to wipe tears from her eyes.

“When he was called to attend police training in Cape Town two years ago he was reluctant to go, saying that police were being killed but we convinced him otherwise,” said Mugwena.

Thenga, who would have turned 30 on Monday had made plans to marry his girlfriend, buy a house and start his own family in January.

Yesterday, National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele visited the families of both police officers.

Cele later visited the place where the officers were gunned down.

Gauteng police also manned roadblocks around Soweto and raided the Mzimhlophe, Dube, Merafe and Nancefield hostels.

During a press briefing at the Meadowlannds police station Cele told journalists that police had targeted these hostels because criminals who committed serious crimes used them as hideouts.

Cele said: “We found twelve unlicensed firearms, three stolen vehicles, 500 rounds of ammunition, drugs and closed two shebeens at these hostels.”

He said police knew who the killers of the two officers were and were working around the clock to ensure they get arrested.

“We want to make sure that anybody who kills a police officer will have a sleepless night.”

Police said since the beginning of the year 14 police officers have been killed in Gauteng alone. 

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.