Two Cape Town traffic officers honoured for bravery after surviving a targeted attack in Khayelitsha. (Paul Herman, News24)
Cape Town – The City of Cape Town on Thursday honoured two metro traffic officers who were shot and injured in Harare, Khayelitsha.
Princess Nkomo and Mandisa Plaatjie were patrolling in Harare last week when two men travelling in a Toyota Avanza shot at them.
Plaatjie was hit in the arm and Nkomo in the stomach. Plaatjie drove them to a local hospital, where they were operated on.
The officers said the attackers wanted to steal their firearms, but both worked unarmed, a choice all traffic officers were given.
Provincial Transport and Public Works MEC Donald Grant honoured the pair in Athlone on Thursday.
'I'm glad we don't have to light candles'
Grant, who had spent most of Thursday at a memorial service for murdered train driver Piet Botha in nearby Bonteheuwel, wished the pair a speedy recovery, and thanked them for their bravery.
"I'm glad we didn't have to light candles for these two officers. The bottom line is there's a lot of danger out there," he told News24 after the ceremony.
"Officers need to back one another up with a buddy-buddy system, and unfortunately there is a perception out there that all policemen carry firearms.
"But some of them do not ,and that is a choice they make themselves."
On Thursday, two suspects were apprehended for the shooting.
'We have to be more alert'
Both Nkomo and Plaatjie teared up as Grant spoke. Nkomo rested her left foot on a bucket while listening to his speech.
"We're feeling much better," a smiling Nkomo told News24 after the ceremony.
"All I can say is, out there it's very dangerous. Everything happened quick and we have to be more alert.
"But we'll try our best to recover and then we'll come back and do what we do, our jobs," she said confidently.
When she was released from hospital on Wednesday, Nkomo said she couldn't wait to see her five-month-old baby again.
Colleagues said they looked forward to having Nkomo and Plaatjie back at work.
The officers were based at the Athlone regional office, and were expected to return to work after a three-month recovery period.