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2015-11-19 06:00

THE largest police union in the country has encouraged­ members to fight back after one policeman was killed and another seriously injured in Kwa-Zulu-Natal this weekend.

Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said the union is “deeply saddened” by yet another attack on a police officer.

“These attacks are happening too often across the country. Popcru will be hosting a number of marches to demonstrate against the threat to officers. We encourage the police to fight fire with fire,” Mamabolo said.

Durban Flying Squad’s Warrant Officer Ash Ramsaken, who was shot in the neck on Sunday morning in KwaMashu, was fighting for his life on the day as concerned family members lingered in the corridor of an Umhlanga hospital, waiting for word from doctors, who were operating on him.

One of Ramsaken’s colleagues described him as a “man who stands for the law and the community”.

“Ash is a friend and someone we look up to,” the colleague said.

Ramsaken was raced to the hospital in a serious condition after he and his colleagues were attacked by AK47-wielding gunmen.

Last week, the Weekend Witness reported that more than 70 police officers had been killed in the country since the beginning of the year.

According to provincial police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker, Ramsaken and his team were patrolling on Malandela Road when they spotted a suspicious vehicle with four unknown men. The team gave chase and were met with a hail of bullets from the high-powered assault rifles. Sources close to the investigation said no one had been arrested yet.

On Saturday, News24 reported that Niren Ramsaroop (40) — who served in the police for 21 years — was shot dead in Empangeni. Ramsaroop was described as a brave and dedicated officer who continued to try and help a robbery victim even after he was shot.

Naicker said Ramsaroop’s colleagues were shocked by his death. “They described Ramsaroop as a dedicated police officer who was always in the frontline of crime-fighting initiatives.”

The warrant officer was in central Empangeni on Saturday morning when he was approached by three women who claimed they had just been robbed of R110 000 they had withdrawn from the bank from their stokvel account. It is believed Ramsaroop then spotted one of the robbers and grabbed hold of him.

“The man then produced a firearm and shot the police officer in [the] chest,” said Naicker. Despite his injury, Ramsaroop managed to return fire, wounding the robber in the leg. However, a short while later the policeman died from his chest wound.

“The wounded suspect (41) was transported to hospital where he remains under police guard,” Naicker­ said. The robber’s firearm, which had its serial number filed off, was also recovered on the scene.

A manhunt is under way to track down the second man, who is still on the run with the cash.

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