Retired Eastern Cape police commander killed during house robbery

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Retired police commander Joseph Jongile.
Retired police commander Joseph Jongile.
Photo Credit: Sibongile May/Facebook
  • Brigadier Joseph Jongile was shot dead during a suspected house robbery in East London on Friday.
  • He died after a struggle with one of five armed suspects. 
  • They ransacked his home and fled with valuables worth R80 000, including his firearm.  

The retired head of the Eastern Cape police's Operational Response Services division, Brigadier Joseph Jongile, was shot dead during a suspected house robbery at his Baysville home in East London on Friday night. 

Jongile also served in the ANC's armed wing, uMkhonto we Sizwe.

He died after sustaining two gunshot wounds during a struggle with one of five armed robbers, who broke into his McJannet Drive home at 21.50 on Friday. 

After Jongile was gunned down, his wife and children were tied up, and the house was then ransacked.

Valuables worth R80 000 were stolen during the incident.

Jongile's firearm was also stolen, said Hawks spokesperson Captain Yolisa Mgolodela, who added that cases of murder and house robbery were being investigated.

Mgolodela said three bicycles, four cellphones, an unknown number of laptops, wallets and the wife's bank cards were stolen. 

News24 has seen the incident report, which was addressed to the Eastern Cape police commissioner Lieutenant-General Liziwe Ntshinga. 

READ | Two Eastern Cape police commanders die from Covid-19 on same day

The report said: 

It is alleged by the complainant [victim's wife] that the five suspects knocked at the back room, where the deceased's son was sleeping. "They pointed him with a firearm and instructed him to go and knock in main house and was told to control the dog and he did [sic].

The report further detailed: "He knocked in the kitchen, the deceased's wife opened the door and she met the three suspects while the other two waited outside. She was threatened with firearm and she shouted for the deceased who came up.

"As the deceased was approaching, one suspect advanced to him and the struggle started. During the struggle, the deceased was shot twice and fell. The other house occupants were tied up with electric cables and their cellphones taken. The suspects then searched the house and took three bicycles and fled the scene," the report read.

"His wife is still too distraught to remember everything. The suspects tied family members and ransacked the house," said Mgolodela. 

A police insider said the robbers are believed to have entered the home through the nearby Bunker's Hill forest.  

Jongile retired from the police service in 2014, according to Mgolodela. 

The Eastern Cape uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veteran's central region chairman, Xolani Tivi, said it was too early for the organisation to comment. 

"The incident happened last night [Friday]. It is a subject of a police investigation. For now, we will give the police and the affected family space to deal with this incident. We will comment at a later stage," said Tivi.

The robbers remain at large.

Mgolodela said:

By the looks of things, it was a house robbery because they ransacked the house and took a number of valuables. No one has been arrested.

An impeccable source in the police told News24 that the former top cop had been roped in to offer expertise during ongoing investigations into suspected corruption surrounding medico-legal claims, which have brought the Eastern Cape health department to its knees.

ALSO READ | Why the Eastern Cape health dept faces lawsuits totalling R3.1bn

Eastern Cape health spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said there was a number on ongoing investigations into allegations of corruption in the medico-legal claims, and that six cases were before the courts. 

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