Stock theft unit policeman murdered

2010-07-05 00:00

A KOKSTAD stock theft unit policeman was gunned down in Harding in the line of duty on Friday afternoon.

An unofficial source said Sergeant Leche Kokjass (30) was called to the area by his assailants, who pretended to have information for him before they shot him.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker confirmed the incident and that Kokjass had been out on a stock theft investigation in the Harding area.

He was alone.

Naicker said that at about 3.40 pm Gundrift community members heard Kokjass screaming for help.

“When they went to investigate, they saw two men running into the bushes. They found the policeman in pain lying not far away from his police vehicle.

“Sadly, he passed away from his injuries a short while later,” said Naicker.

Kokjass was shot in the lower back.

At this stage the motive for the killing is unknown, but the police say they cannot rule out the possibility that he was killed because of his investigation into stock theft in the area.

His state firearm was taken by his attackers.

Koos Murray of KZN farmers’ union Kwanalu security desk said they are shocked at the murder of yet another policeman.

“The country can ill afford losses of specialised police. Stock theft is crippling the farming community and stock which is stolen from emerging farmers cannot easily be replaced. If an emerging farmer owns 20 head of cattle and 10 are stolen, it’s half his stock. We trust the law will take its full course,” said Murray.

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