Wanted cop killer killed in shoot-out with police

2010-04-12 00:00

A SUSPECT in the murders of several top police officers, including Superintendent Frans Bothma, was killed during a shoot-out with police in Durban in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The incidents happened less than a week after a police officer was killed during a confrontation with armed suspects in Jozini, in the north of the province.

The suspect, whose name had been withheld yesterday, was killed in Umbilo in Durban at about 1 am.

Police spokeswoman Brigadier Phindile Radebe said the man was in a possession of a rifle when the police confronted him. She said the information about the shooting was still sketchy.

“He started shooting and police fired back,” said Radebe.

The deceased was connected to the murder of Bothma, who was gunned down in KwaMashu in 2008. Bothma was leading a team that was investigating the murder of Superintendent Zethembe Chonco, who was ambushed while he was transporting taxi-related murder suspects to KwaDukuza Magistrate’s Court.

The man was also linked to the murder of two police officers during a cash-in-transit heist in KwaMaphulo in 2008.

At least five other suspects in the murders of Bothma and Chonco have been killed by the police. Radebe said the man was also a suspect in an armed robbery case in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape.

“It seems as if he was aware that the police had surrounded the house where he was hiding because he started shooting. Police retaliated and he was shot dead,” she said.

ER24 spokeswoman Vanessa Jackson said paramedics arrived at the scene at about 2.30 am.

“He was already dead when the paramedics arrived. According to paramedics, he sustained multiple shot wounds all over the body,” Jackson said.

It is unclear whether the suspect was in hiding in the house or whether he lived there.

In the incident on Wednesday, in which Constable Malusi Mchunu (33) was killed, in northern KwaZulu-Natal, it is alleged that a group of eight men travelling in a minibus taxi opened fire on police officers patrolling the area.

The police returned fire and killed one of the suspects.

“After the shooting incident, various SAPS units such as the Airwing, Organised Crime Unit, the Dog Unit, the Tactical Response Team and members of Jozini SAPS were mobilised, and a search was conducted.

“Four of the suspects were later arrested and detained for murder. An undisclosed amount of cash was found,” said Radebe.

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