No bail for cop killers

2016-06-23 06:00
 The Sandla family could not hold their tears during an emotional memorial service held for the slain Mthetho who died in the line of duty in Delft.    PHOTO: Lulama Zenzile

The Sandla family could not hold their tears during an emotional memorial service held for the slain Mthetho who died in the line of duty in Delft. PHOTO: Lulama Zenzile

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Policeman Mthetho Sandla “was a disciplined officer who died with his boots on,”.

These words were uttered by Colonel Luyanda Damoyi at the memorial service of the slain policeman on Tuesday.

Colonel Damoyi is the Delft police station Commander.

Sandla was killed when AK47-wielding robbers opened fire on him and a colleague at a filling station in Delft in the early hours of June 13.

His colleague survived, but the 35-year-old Sandla died on the scene.

Police found explosives on the scene and believe the police officers had thwarted an ATM robbery.

“I think that the station has lost a hero,” said Colonel Luyanda Damoyi.

“I want to say to you, your pain is ours,” Damoyi said, refering to Sandla’s grieving family at a service at the packed St Matthews Anglican Church in Delft.

“We are crying with you,” said Damoyi.

Provincial commissioner General Khombinkosi Jula was among senior police officers who laid brightly coloured wreaths trimmed with a solemn purple next to a memorial stone erected in Sandla’s honour in a quiet corner of the Delft police station.

Jula said six police officers had been attacked in the Western Cape since he took office four months ago.

“We have a serious challenge in the Western Cape. We must never retreat,” he said, vowing police would do all they can to find and arrest Sandla’s killers.

“They are going to be relentlessly pursued until they are arrested.”

He urged the community to help the police.

The mournful sound of the Last Post was played as police officers saluted him.

The procession moved through Delft to the St Matthew’s Anglican Church, where a guard of honour lined the street near the church.

The pews were packed with colleagues, and family members mournfully sang and swayed to songs in memory and celebration of his life.

A projector showed a collection of personal photographs of him in various poses, including one of him in uniform.

Damoyi said he received the news that Sandla was shot at 03:20 in the morning.

On arrival at the scene, he said Sandla was still wearing his bulletproof vest.

Damoyi said he was not the type of police officer who had to be nagged or disciplined.

He completed numerous courses and never gave any problems. “His file was empty,” he told the family. “He did not disappoint you,” said Damoyi.

Meanwhile the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has called on parliament to urgently pass a law that disqualifies people charged with killing police officers from getting bail. “once you kill a policeman, forget bail.”

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