Inmates use blanket to strangle cop

2012-07-02 21:43

Johannesburg - A policeman was strangled by an inmate at the Katlehong police station at the weekend, Gauteng police said on Monday.

Warrant Officer Lennox Phathumzi Latha was strangled with a piece of a blanket, said Colonel Noxolo Kweza.

He was responding to a call from the police cells when he was killed on Sunday.

"He went to the first cell gate, and when he went to second one, he was attacked by inmates who throttled him to death with a blanket that was cut into pieces," said Kweza.

The inmates then took the keys to the cell, and threw his body into a toilet in the cells.

By the time Latha's colleague realised what had happened, two of the inmates had escaped, while two others were still in the holding cell.

The two escapees were initially arrested on car hijacking charges.

Kweza said police were investigating whether the other two inmates were also involved in the murder.

National police commissioner General Riah Phiyega conveyed her condolences to the family of the deceased.

"General Phiyega saw it befitting to send condolences as this is a great loss," said her spokesperson, Brigadier Lindela Mashigo.

"[She] calls on members to exercise extreme caution when visiting cells and stressed the importance of adhering to the orders governing the management of police cells."

  • Erna - 2012-07-02 22:13

    Once again shows lack of training in our police force.

      cgieljoumie - 2012-07-02 23:02

      here a family is sitting with a loss and just showing how heartless our society has become hope those bastards rot.....its not about the training but the intend...

      gngaleka - 2012-07-02 23:05

      More so shows lack of morals among the citizens than training on the police unless you expect them to be karatekas.

      Erna - 2012-07-03 00:06

      I also have sympathy for the family and curse the criminals, but facts are facts - criminals should not be better prepared than the police. Cops should be trained to expect and suspect anything and anyone!

      Barefoot - 2012-07-03 01:18

      @Erna quick to point the wrongs without acknowledging all facts, 1. probably at your workplace you've been taught how to do the right thing but you've found shortcuts that enable you to do your job- not always be the 'right' thing but they get the job done up until they backfire 2. even with proper training there is no guarantee that mistakes or lapse of judgement wil not happen, i was watching Most Daring (dstv126)were a US cop got shot because he didn't follow protocol he said so himself, what is to blame on this instance? lack of training or human error?

      boltonbarry - 2012-07-03 11:04

      Erna. As an Ex Policeman can you please explain how he was incompetent as you were clearly there

      GrootWitHaai - 2012-07-03 11:22

      Spot on. They have got to stop referring to the police as 'members'. It's not a very befitting title for anyone in a position of authority.

      chequ.checked - 2012-07-03 11:46

      Please feed the prisoners and more blankets for winter wankers and don't stop your neverland investigations. Now prisoners are not being racist, look they even killing black people and black police officers too...but this is obviously still acceptable to the MECs... I would call this a sad state of corruption...

  • maryke.peacock - 2012-07-02 22:17

    Barbaric. Who will be their next victim?

      clinton.badenhorst - 2012-07-03 08:05

      How the hell do you throw someone in a toilet? Condolences to the family!

  • Godfrey - 2012-07-02 22:25

    Condolences to his family. Always sad when a life is taken.

  • colin.rowe.146 - 2012-07-02 22:33

    Death penalty........

  • had.enuf.1 - 2012-07-02 22:43

    F#cking scum. Find them and terminate them. Condolences to the family.

  • kholiswa.mtshakaza - 2012-07-02 22:47

    What's really going on in our country?

      richard.hipkin - 2012-07-03 09:45

      We breeding savages.

  • molton.brown.3 - 2012-07-03 00:22

    Being an ex-cop way back in the 90's one thing you NEVER do is go into the holding cells ALONE. You should ALWAYS be two officers or more depending on the size of the cells. Why the warrant officer went in alone I do not understand. I hope that they catch the scum. My condolences to the family of the warrant officer.

      Bulls - 2012-07-03 00:50

      I bet his colleague was not on duty as expected, the deceased was doing first half alone and the colleague would do second half alone. There is no way someone can be killed and chopped without being heard, what did they chop him with in the first place? silence chop saw? Very sad indeed.

      Barefoot - 2012-07-03 01:05

      Bulls read again and slowly this time- they cut the blankets, blankets. . .

      leon.puth - 2012-07-03 08:53

      "he was attacked by inmates who throttled him to death with a blanket that was cut into pieces," said Kweza" ill repeat it: "a blanket that was cut into pieces"

      mike.bundy.73 - 2012-07-03 08:57

      It clearly states in the report that the blanket was cut

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-07-03 06:05

    "General Phiyega saw it befitting to send condolences as this is a great loss," said her spokesperson, Brigadier Lindela Mashigo. This is so sincere. So in touch. I suppose the spokesperson's spokesperson delivered the message.

  • mandla.b.mlimi - 2012-07-03 07:06

    Sad incident, colour code need 2 be implemented

  • hein.huyser - 2012-07-03 07:10

    I Have sympathy with the family, but hey! when will the SAPS wake up and realize that the average criminal does not fear you, and the average citizen do not want you around anymore. You are NOT the protector of the innocent and you are not public friendly. The less I see you, or of you the better. I will protect myself, my loved ones and my property, when necessary and face whatever consequences later. The SAPS now have a 20 year history that speaks for itself. Go away!!

  • leon.postma.9 - 2012-07-03 07:16

    Does she (the chief of the police) still want the cops to hug criminals?

  • Andrew Gay - 2012-07-03 07:36

    whilst I feel sorry for this SAPS members family, in my day standing orders required 2 people to visit the cells together Common sense says that you are not visiting children in the cells. Proper training and discipine will keep our men in Blue alive

  • mokgalaka1 - 2012-07-03 07:43

    Deepest condolences 2d family.cops shouldn't b aoowed 2check on inmates on tjeir own and those raggamuffins xuld be dealt with immediately.they xuldn't b treated like innocent citizen

  • customdesign - 2012-07-03 09:29

    When they catch them they should take their blankets away from them

  • bev.busa - 2012-07-03 09:52

    It is not lack of training but the fact that both the police and correctional officials become complacent with criminals in their care. I do voluntary work with juvenile offenders and know of many cases where police and correctional officials have been overpowered, their weapons taken and offenders escape because they become familiar and trusting. Human error and complacency to blame I am afraid.

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