‘Brave’ Captain Pitout laid to rest headline

2009-12-30 00:00

GAMALAKHE station commissioner Captain Michelle Pitout was buried at the Norwegian Church in Port Shepstone on the south coast yesterday.

Pitout, along with her junior, Detective Constable Grant Phelukhwayo, and Inspector Trevor Moodley of Margate were shot at on December 16.

They were following up on information on a housebreaking case and were led to a house in Tin Town in the Gamalakhe area near Margate when they were shot. Pitout and Phelukwayo were admitted to hospital in Durban and Port Shepstone respectively, both in a critical condition.

Pitout died two weeks ago after the family decided to take her off life support.

During the funeral, Police Commissioner Bheki Cele praised Pitout for her bravery and her overwhelming passion for her job and the community she served.

He said her negotiation and discussion approach had earned her the respect and hearts of the people of Gamalakhe.

“We have lost more than a police officer and a colleague,” Cele said. “We have lost a major contributor to the re-shaping of our country.”

He called on NGOs, academics and the media to stop supporting criminals by talking about their rights.

“What about the rights of Michelle’s two young daughters? Who is going to worry about their rights today? I have attended too many funerals and memorial services in my four months as commissioner,” he said. “This must stop.”

Provincial police spokeswoman director Phindile Radebe said two suspects were fatally wounded after a shoot-out with police.

“Last week Wednesday a fourth suspect shot at the police. They shot back and he was also fatally wounded,” Radebe said.

The other two suspects will appear in court on January 6 on two counts of attempted murder and one of murder and housebreaking.

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