A man suspected of the May murder of an off-duty KwaZulu-Natal police officer has been arrested and his alleged accomplice has been shot dead, police have said.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said various police teams confronted a heavily armed criminal gang in Nhlawe, Weenen, on Saturday.
"The men resisted attempts to arrest them and a shootout ensued. A 28-year-old suspect was fatally wounded during the exchange of gun fire while a 21-year-old suspect was placed under arrest."
Naicker said police seized two AK-47 rifles, an R5 rifle, an air gun and 101 rounds of ammunition at the scene.
He added that initial investigations indicated that the 21-year-old was "positively linked" to the May 11 murder of off-duty police officer, Constable Nkosinathi Khumalo, 35, who was shot and killed in Estcourt.
After Khumalo was shot, he was dragged out of his vehicle and his killers fled in his car.
Naicker said the arrested man would appear in the Weenen Magistrate's Court on Monday.
KZN police commissioner Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula hailed the breakthrough in Khumalo's case.
"The arrest and recovery of these firearms are evident that police officers in this province are closing in on criminal gangs who commit serious crimes in the false belief that they can evade law enforcement. These types of operations are going to be intensified so that we break this vicious cycle of serious and violent crimes in KZN," he said.
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