Police follow up on killing of officers

2018-06-06 06:01
Capt. Jonas Tshabalala

Capt. Jonas Tshabalala

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The police in the Free State are investigating the murder of three police officers who were shot dead by criminals, whereafter their service firearms were taken.

Only one suspect has been arrested regarding the killing of Capt. Qeya Jonas Tshabalala (52) of the Hawks.

The slain officer was part of the Bloemfontein Serious Organised Crime Unit. He was reportedly shot by unidentified criminals in Rocklands on 24 May at about 20:45. He was in the vicinity to attend to a complaint.

Tshabalala is the third officer to be shot in a spate of killings in the province this year. The other two officers, Sgt. Motse Monyaki and Const. Bongani Moses Saliwe, were killed in February and March respectively in Bloemfontein’s townships of Phahameng and JB Mafora.

All three officers’ service firearms and cellphones were taken.

According to Col. Thandi Mbambo, provincial police spokesperson, a breakthrough in Tshabalala’s murder has come with the arrest of one suspect, Sprinkaan Maema (33).

He briefly appeared in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on a charge of murder.

Mbambo said he was arrested between Dewetsdorp and Wepener on 25 May, a few kilometres from where the state vehicle wad been found abandoned.

  • Mbambo said the police were searching for two suspects. She said preliminary evidence linked Maema to the murder of the Hawks member.

The suspect is set to reappear in court on 13 June to apply for bail.

“The officer was shot multiple times and he succumbed to his injuries on the scene,” Mbambo said.

“His killers fled the scene with the state vehicle, his service pistol and a cellphone.”

Mbambo said Tshabalala died due to multiple gun wounds.

“He was shot multiple times to the body and he succumbed due to the bullets wounds he sustained after the exchange of gunfire. The suspects fled the scene with the state vehicle was found abandoned near the Jimmy Roos School in Dewetsdorp.

She said preliminary investigation revealed that one of the suspects had been shot in the crossfire.

“There were blood stains in the vehicle the suspects had fled with.”

Mbambo appealed to the public to assist in the investigation by providing useful information about the whereabouts of the killers. The three officers were attacked at night time.

According to police reports, three to four armed men were involved in each case of murder, of all three officers.

Regarding Tshabalala’s murder, call Col Nthako Mkhawulezi on 082-527-7504.

Call Sgt Morena Machalotsa on 073-729-1732 with information about Saliwe’s murder.

For Monyaki’s case, call Lt Col Tankiso Sefuthi on 071-411-7650.

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