Cop opens fire in police station

2011-12-16 07:16

Polokwane - A police officer shot and killed the Mookgopong (Naboomspruit) police station commander and another officer before turning the gun on himself on Thursday, said Limpopo police.

Constable Ludwig Masoga walked into the charge office at the police station where station commander Lieutenant Colonel Maria Gwangwa was having a meeting with her management and started shooting, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

He shot Gwangwa, 50, and Warrant Officer Gerald Mphahlele in the head. Both died instantly, said Hangwani. Another two officers were injured.

Lieutenant Samuel Ledwaba was shot in the left shoulder and Constable Rose Moloto in the leg.

"There is a dark cloud in that station now. People are picking themselves up. There is work to be done."

Counsellors were rushed to the scene to debrief police officers who were in the station at the time of the shooting, as well as those coming on duty.

"It was a close-knit family. She [Gwangwa] was a mother to them."

Hangwani said the motive for the shooting was not known.

  • Michael - 2011-12-16 07:23

    This is tragic. This is happening way to often. I wonder if they get similar incidents around the world, and if so, on what scale. I think the selection criteria needs to be improved. For instance, psychopaths are not allowed into the police force...

      Barefoot - 2011-12-16 08:09

      Remember seeing a live news feed i think it was from the Philippines (not sure of the country), were a cop who had just been fired hijacked a bus full of tourists.

      Donovan - 2011-12-16 08:59

      Criminals in the police service. Definitely, most definitely does not happen in New Zealand. Over here, the cops are armed with tasers. If they use the taser, it automatically activates an integrated video camera, to record what the officer is doing to a citizen. Add to that, it is easy - real easy - for a citizen to get a gun. But when the police want to arm themselves, there is a public outcry.

      Jay - 2011-12-16 09:08

      Bottom line is these guys and girls are not selected properly. I will call my mates to come and help me in any situation before i call the cops. I will call the cops after everything is over. Bad selection, bad training and no pride in their work is the reason for my disillusion.

      Ettienne - 2011-12-16 09:54

      This in my opinion, is the unfortunate result of incompetency within the senior ranks at recruitment. I don't believe that enough psycho metrical tests are done before the appointing of Police Members. Sad part is, that this could have in fact have happened to members of the public too. Condolences to the families and colleagues of the deceased.

      AyGeeWils - 2011-12-16 11:04

      Jack - whether you right or wrong is not the point - what part of putting it right can you play? Because, unless you have another country to go to, you are going to be a part of the outcome like it or not. This is more a result of 'verkrampt' polarisation in our country rather than the efforts to work on a better society - a solution needs to be found - not more provocative vitriolic ...

      Sharkshoot - 2011-12-17 11:14

      Yes Michel I'm sure this happens everywhere. Please. When I was in the cops in the 90's the black policemen were already shooting one another at work. I know of an incident in Hillcrest and one at the Kwandengezi police station where these individuals were involved in on duty cop on cop's endemic.

  • Van - 2011-12-16 07:23

    The motive was to kill them. Let's take a guess: 1. Non payment of salary - Nope, they were not farmers. 2. Investigated for corruption - most propably.

  • Ian - 2011-12-16 07:39

    and they call themselves police officers, one thing for sure any training course in the US and UK this lot would plug before they even started, did these idiots ever go through psych evaluation when they applied to the saps

      Ian - 2011-12-16 08:37

      @barefoot where did i mention color in my comment, please show me, read before you comment dimwit

      Barefoot - 2011-12-16 08:40

      @Ian read Anthony's reply

      Ian - 2011-12-16 08:58

      Barefoot yes so, thats Anthonys, not mine, nowhere did I mention skin color, I was referring to this problem over the entire spectrum, the training in the saps both physical and psychological is way below par compared to the western world resulting in more so called breakdowns in all races

  • satanslord - 2011-12-16 07:46


      Jerhone - 2011-12-16 09:10

      what stress of too much kentucky chicken or is it shopping during office hours?

      Jenny - 2011-12-16 16:47

      Post traumatic stress, I reckon. Eish

  • Evan - 2011-12-16 07:48

    My word! Our Cops are more dangerous than the crazy criminals running on the streets! This is just madness.!.!

      Van - 2011-12-16 07:50

      At least it wasn't some innocent bystander this time.

      Vagav - 2011-12-16 08:51

      @Van: The victims were innocent. You are disgusting.

  • Yar - 2011-12-16 07:55

    This traged can be traced all the way to an apalling lack of discipline and leadership. SAPS managements are clueless. Isn't it time to put professional and experienced career policemen in charge and not race based political appointees.

      Philip - 2011-12-16 09:48

      PS...check who the current stand-in chief is - Lieutenant General Mkwanazi as the acting Police chief.Guess what, he is a career police officer, task force, bomb disposal, negotiator a couple degrees....pretty good. the problem is more complex than just who is in charge...

  • Ben - 2011-12-16 08:10

    If promotion in the police was done on merit there could still be hope. This problem goes further than just in the police force. Fortunately people in other jobs dont carry guns.

  • sibusiso.mkoko - 2011-12-16 08:15

    Its the 2nd time I hear of an employee opening fire on his/her bosses while they were having a meeting in the boardroom. So ya'l execs must start treating ur employees well othawise, kaboom!

  • Leon - 2011-12-16 08:21

    @Jack...yes, it's the african way!!!

      Omnivore - 2011-12-16 08:56

      Just shut up already.

  • richard.galpin - 2011-12-16 08:25

    About 40 years ago a town councilor (nicname 'Wirwap')at a public gathering said in Afrikaans "Naboomspruit is a S--T town". Things don't seem to have changed much!!!

  • Shining - 2011-12-16 08:43

    Oh, come on, you guys. This isn't about them being cops, or black, or stressed or South African. This isn't an isolated case of violence. We live in a violent, angry world and life is cheap and expendable these days. It is natural for every single one of us to justify the way we live our individual lives. If we can't justify it, there's no point and if there's no point, then we have to admit that we are nothing but another fleeting species in the great illusion of time. And god forbid we are just like everything else! The horror! This is a case of one very depressed individual who just could not see any other way out of his misery. Taking your own life is so unnatural in itself that none of you healthy, critical, alive people can even begin to understand what was actually going on in his head. There is no explanation or justification for it. It is a tragedy and that is all.

      Mpho Ndlovu - 2011-12-16 08:46

      Thanx baba, atleast a sane mind out there

  • Marvin Khosa - 2011-12-16 09:02

    I know this guy very will tshepo masoga, we went to school together @ mohlakamotala, he was a very cool guy. I wonder what happened, I even know the son of the commander we went we him in the same school. My their soul rest in peace. The power of a human's mind, stop taking people for granted.

      Philip - 2011-12-16 09:49

      sorry to hear Marvin.

  • Craig - 2011-12-16 09:02

    let me remind you all that a few months back in norway a white guy bombed and shot a hundred or more people ... this is not a race thing .. its a human thing .. people irregardless of race creed of geography snap .. and this dude snapped . I just wish that we could all learn to get along .. hated for one another really is not the answer .. look at the world wars, the holocaust, iraq afghanistan and and and .. Please people some synergy and tolerance for your fellow man irregardless of the colour of your skin ! Really tired of the white black thing now .. Time to forget apartheid and the past kiss make up .. and look forward .. Simple really :} have a blessed festive season : }

      Craig - 2011-12-16 10:15

      and with a message of peace as the one i have made you still get thumbs down .. herein lies the problem with society !! attitudes need serious adjustment !!!

  • hcduplessis - 2011-12-16 09:05

    the problem is police officers do not go through a proper screening process.and this is not going to change in the near future,it will only get worse.south africa and zambia has one of the worse "untrained" police force in the world.!

  • Errol - 2011-12-16 09:08

    Tragic loss of life and tragic to have comments so bizarre and simply DUMB from the likes of Mpho!!There is a fundamental flaw in all our security forces police and metro police.They are not well prepared;they are not well trained;they are corrupt;in many many cases THEY ARE the criminals.Surely surely,the ANC can see something is WRONG??

      Philip - 2011-12-16 09:50

      before you criticize and make statements that all police officers are corrupt etc etc...go do the work yourself! from a police officer...

  • Tshivhombela Fhatuwani - 2011-12-16 09:13

    This is what you get if you recruit thugs because they have drivers license. Start to hire those who have qualifications first and leave woodwork thugs at sheebens. Their level of thinking is 6 feet undergroud.

  • Rashaad Hendricks - 2011-12-16 09:19

    This could have been me. We all have issues with our boss an colleagues sometimes. Lucky for most bosses most careers dont require a gun to get done. Condolences to the families

  • frikkie.botes - 2011-12-16 09:19

    The main reason why things like this happen is because police officers do not have training like 20 years ago anymore and to be a policeman is not a calling anymore but just a job created by government to put people in .

  • Clive - 2011-12-16 09:21

    This is very disturbing,so much for the psychometric testing/screening that the members of SAPS have to undergo.Now we also have a case of +- 500 recruits pushed through police college as they were unable to pass and "threatened suicide " according to last Sudays press reports.My sympathy to the victims families.These unstable elements need to be rooted out so that the members that serve with passion and dedication do not have to fear their fellow policemen.

  • Jason - 2011-12-16 09:29

    A closely kint family - I think not!!

  • Jason - 2011-12-16 09:35

    Mpho Ndlovu - do us all a favor and why dont you crawl back into you useless TWAT

  • TheWatcher - 2011-12-16 09:37

    Bad(if any) training, no background checks, no supervision, crushing workload, terrible pay, getting shot by criminals and getting into trouble for shooting them back, and general hostility from the general public (often deserved). I'd hate to be a policemen.

  • Philip - 2011-12-16 09:40

    It is not criminals, or psychopaths in the police force, but members who are under severe stress and have seen so much. systems in handling members need to change. but this can happen for all those who think they know, come work as a police officer first- then criticize!...

  • raymond.kok3 - 2011-12-16 09:44

    oh me think they know exactly why he did it , they need time to put a spin around it.recruitment is your prop as well as training and respect and dicipline without it this will keep on happening, my heart goes out to the affected families

  • Philip - 2011-12-16 09:44

    @michael...define the criteria for a psychopath? not to be funny, but there are selectioncriteria such as a psychometrics: that means nothing! It is what happens when you are on the job that makes a difference. stress management techniques etc more effective, better management etc etc...yes, your coping mechanisms are what count, but to say that someone who walks into a station and opens fire is a psychopath...SAP members are under sever strain, and are a high risk population, therefore yes unfortunate incidents like this happen because the correct mechanisms are not completely effective.

  • Judith - 2011-12-16 09:50

    Very sad indictment of the problems in our police force...RIP and strength to the families...

  • Pieter.A.C.Weideman - 2011-12-16 09:54

    Rather ask what drove him to believe that the only solution was to kill his commander and his fellow officer? People don't just go on a rampage like that without some serious motivation.

  • Marlene - 2011-12-16 10:10

    I think most humans are aggressive and violent by nature and judging on some of the comments, it clearly shows as being true. That is why need laws, morals, etc, etc, instilled from a young age. It is only fear of punishment, or a moral code, that stops all humanity from becoming like animals. Others don't even worry about consequences. If we could all stop judging and being so angry at each other, maybe we can visualise and achieve, a peaceful and non-violent way of life. Or am I being too idealistic?

  • AyGeeWils - 2011-12-16 10:17

    This is not unique to SA, but it is indicative of the state of affairs in this country. Guns, guns, guns – a lack of disciple and sense of duty in the police force. The police have been implicated in every kind of criminal activity – like murder. rape and armed robbery – there is a dangerous decline in the moral fabric of the SAPS and if not checked, will lead to more very serious incidences like this and altimately the break-down of law and order.

  • eradingoana - 2011-12-16 11:11

    Maybe these police officers should be disarmed and be crews for the armed security officers. They are already guarded at the police stations anyway which means they cannot take care of themselves, it is just uniform and the name which is left. Performance is hell, less conviction rate. So why do we really have them? To watch them abusing ammunitions to kill each other instead of protecting citizens?

  • leah.molatseli - 2011-12-16 11:23

    What kind of psychological testing and training do police officers undertake? And im not only talking about before they r considered to be police officers, but also in da line of duty? It goes without saying that, their line of work exposes them to alot of traumatic or gruesome events, what is the department or rather ministry of police doing to address this issue? We live in fear not of coz of da criminals, but also of the police officers whom we call our partners, brothers, sisters, family, colleagues, coz we dont know when they will just explode...

  • martiens.j.bekker - 2011-12-16 16:05

    That's were I started my SAP career..... The New SA is falling apart!

  • lomacronje - 2011-12-16 18:19

    My heart goes out to these families? But I have a question to all your smart guys out there.....why always females????

  • steveroodt - 2011-12-16 18:29

    It's all about training and discipline.

  • bruce2506 - 2011-12-17 07:42

    It boils down to discipline something that DOES NOT exist in the new SAP,been involved in the police since 1982, you never heard of things like this in the Old SAP.

      Alta - 2011-12-17 10:20

      Bruce2506 you hit the nail on the head. Discipline and self respect. In the old SAP you would never see a member in uniform with tattoos on their arms and up their necks. Promotions were earned, you showed the necessary respect for an officer. Disagreements were solved without having to shoot/kill our own collegues. It is very sad indeed.

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