Hawks probe CBD shooting

2020-01-14 06:00
Thando Sigcu PHOTO: Facebook

Thando Sigcu PHOTO: Facebook

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In a “case of mistaken identity”, a Cape Town law enforcement officer shot at a plainclothes police officer after seeing him struggle with a suspect while armed, the Hawks said on Thursday.

Const Thando Sigcu (38) was shot dead after apprehending a robbery suspect near a fast food outlet on the Foreshore at around 21:00 on Tuesday.

“It is reported that the constable was on patrol in plain clothes with his crew near one of the hotspots in the Cape Town CBD when they saw two suspicious males walking in Adderley Street and approached them, but the two fled in different directions,” Hawks spokesperson Col Katlego Mogale told News24.

They chased after the men and Sigcu caught one of them.

Mogale said the suspect allegedly resisted and fought Sigcu on the corner of Adderley Street and Hertzog Boulevard.

“Whilst the scuffle between the constable and the suspect was under way, two law enforcement officers in uniform drove past and observed what appeared to be an armed male attacking another person,” Mogale said.

The officers apparently reversed and stopped the vehicle in the road to intervene.

“One of the armed law enforcement officer[s] confronted the two men and ordered the unbeknown to him constable in plainclothes to drop his firearm. He then fired two shots, fatally striking the police officer in the chest and wounding the suspect in the face.”

Sigcu died on the scene. The 30-year-old suspect was taken to a nearby hospital under police guard.

Mogale said packets of tik and mandrax tablets were found in his possession in hospital. No arrests have been made in connection with the shooting, said Mogale.

The City of Cape Town’s safety and security director Richard Bosman confirmed that a “law enforcement officer was involved in a shooting incident in the central business district”.

Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesperson Sontaga Seisa told News24 that the incident was not within their mandate “as the official who discharged the firearm is not a police or Metro Police Department member.”

News of Sigcu’s death was met with outrage and sadness.

Ronel Stander, public sector organiser for trade union Solidarity, said it was shocking that he was allegedly shot by a law enforcement officer.

She hoped that the investigation would urgently establish the reason for the shooting and that steps would be taken if negligence was found.

“[If so], a criminal case should be opened and he needs to be charged in terms of the discipline regulations,” she said.

“[At] the end of the day, police, law enforcement, Metro Police etc, all share the same goal, to prevent and combat crime. They have to work together, not against each other and they should be able to trust each other’s judgement and be able to rely on each other.”

Sigcu was attached to the Cape Town Central police station and had been in the police force for five years.

He was such a passionate supporter of the Cape Town City Football Club that it released a short documentary about the highs and the lows of the season through his eyes last year, titled: Thando – A Short Film.

In the film, Sigcu said he loved being a police officer and touching people’s lives.

“Most of the people think that being a police [officer] is to arrest people. No. You are social workers. We are here. We are advisers.”

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) observed a moment of silence for Sigcu ahead of the Cape Town City game against Amazulu on Wednesday night (8 January).

“He was part of Cape Town City since inception and played a big role in lifting the new club to where it is today,” the PSL said in a statement.

A colleague, Ryan Morris, posted on social media that he remembered Sigcu as someone who was also happy and available to help when needed.

“Keep smiling from above, you’re now with your partner, Sgt Pinky. You will not be forgotten. We have lost more than just a colleague. Watch over us, we will watch over your family and colleagues. RIP brother. Until we meet again.”

– Jenna Etheridge, News24

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