7 children, including infant, now fatherless after 2 Cape Town officers murdered

2019-09-05 20:33
The weapons found during the hunt for the killers of two Cape Town Law Enforcement officers (Jenni Evans, News24)

The weapons found during the hunt for the killers of two Cape Town Law Enforcement officers (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Seven children - one an 11-month-old infant - will grow up without their fathers who were killed in the line of duty as law enforcement officers in Cape Town on Wednesday. 

"Officer Jan Nieuwenhuys was 49 years old and leaves behind his wife and four children," said the City of Cape Town's mayoral committee member for safety, JP Smith. "He had 25 years' of service and was due to retire at the end of this year.

"Officer Simtembile Nyangiwe was 43 years old and the father of three children, the youngest a child of 11 months. He was the family's breadwinner and also took care of his elderly mother. 

"Both men were dedicated officers and loving family men. They were breadwinners and their loss will be felt on many levels," said Smith, reflecting the grief of their colleagues.

Law enforcement is a division of the City's safety and security initiative. 

The officers were shot at a construction site in Philippi, where they were protecting workers at a City construction project from attacks.

They were airlifted to hospital.

"Both officers later died in hospital and our hearts are broken as we mourn their passing." 

Simtembile Nyangiwe and Jan Nieuwenhuys
Officers Simtembile Nyangiwe and Jan Nieuwenhuys.

Police Minister Bheki Cele visited their families to express his condolences on Thursday.

A small ray of light for their families and colleagues was the swift action taken by the police who arrested five people afterwards.  

The five - four men and a woman - were found with four firearms after the police went to a shack in the Ramaphosa informal settlement based on information they had received. 

Two of the firearms belonged to Nieuwenhuys and Nyangiwe. 

Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut said provincial detectives, supported by integrated forces attached to Operation Lockdown, conducted a multidisciplinary operation in the area and the men, aged between 19 and 33, and the 23-year-old woman were arrested. 

They were arrested for being in possession of three Glocks - two of which belonged to the officers - and a Norinco.

They also had five magazines and 45 rounds of ammunition. 

The suspects were detained for the possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition and were to appear in the Athlone Magistrate's Court soon. 

The investigation into who killed the officers continues. 

Smith commended everybody involved in the investigation. 

"I visited both families and while I could offer words of comfort, it is a painful reminder that our law enforcement officers go out each day and put their lives on the line to protect vulnerable communities."

Mayor Dan Plato also applauded everybody for their quick response. 

"I wish to extend my sincerest appreciation to everyone, including all the City's agencies, the various ambulance services, the SAPS, and hospital staff. This has been a difficult time for all involved and we call on the prosecuting authorities to request the harshest penalties possible."

Anyone with information can contact Brigadier Bhekie Khumalo on 082 5568642 or Crime Stop on 086 001 0111. 

Read more on:    saps  |  cape town  |  crime

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