Police struck by grief

2018-03-28 06:01

The police in the Free State are mourning another slain police officer shot dead by criminals, who took his service firearm afterwards.

The latest victim is Constable Bongani Moses Saliwe (39), who was stationed at the Reddersburg Police Station. The town is located approximately 60 km outside Bloemfontein.

Col Thandi Mbambo, provincial police spokes­person, says the officer was killed on Sunday (25/03) in JB Mafora, one of the residential settlements in Bloemfontein.

She says three unidentified men, driving a dark BMW, overpowered Constable Saliwe at about 04:00 on Sunday. The slain officer was reportedly off-duty.

According to Mbambo, the slain officer was about to drop off his neighbours, a couple, in JB Mafora.

“A dark BMW approached them, and three men walked towards them whilst they were still in the vehicle. One of the men, armed with a firearm, knocked on the constable’s window, instructing that he open the window. The constable refused,” says Mbambo.

“The perpetrator demanded the firearm of the constable and when he refused, the perpetrator allegedly fired one shot, which wounded the constable in the chest.

“Thereafter the suspect searched the constable and took his service pistol.”

Mbambo says the suspects fled the scene in the vehicle they had been driving.

Efforts to save Saliwe’s life proved futile, as he reportedly died on his way to hospital.

Mbambo says the motive for the killing is not known, adding that a murder investigation is underway. She says a case of armed robbery is also under investigation.

Saliwe is the second officer murdered and robbed of his service firearm by armed criminals in Bloemfontein within two months.

The latest incident happened while the police in the province were still mourning the death of Sgt Motse Monyaki.

He was killed in February by four assailants who reportedly took his service firearm.

The murderers also reportedly took a plasma television and three cellphones of Monyaki.

According to the police, four armed men overpowered Monyaki and his wife outside their home in Jonas Street, Phahameng.

After killing the officer, the armed suspects fled the scene with the deceased’s blue Polo.

The suspects reportedly drove to JB Mafora, where they allegedly robbed four people, including a taxi driver, and killed one person in their armed robbery spree.­

Mbambo says no arrest has been made regarding Monyaki’s murder and armed robbery.

The police appeal for public assistance to provide useful information in both murder cases.

Regarding Saliwe’s murder, contact the investigating officer, Morena Machalotsa, on 073-729-1732 .

To provide information in connection with Monyaki’s murder, call Lt Col Tankiso Sefuthi on 071-411-7650.

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