Cop risks life to arrest murder suspect

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Pietermaritzburg - A brave Thornville police officer risked his life to arrest a gun-weilding murder suspect who allegedly shot and killed a man outside the officer’s home.

Veteran officer Captain Mandla Mkhabela, who is also the Thornville station commander, was at his house at the Emgodini area near Plessislaer on Saturday when he saw two people fighting on the road.

As he went to intervene, one man allegedly pulled out a firearm and shot the other man in the stomach. The victim (25) was taken to hospital where he later died.

Mlamuli Funeka (38) was immediately arrested and was found in possession of a pistol suspected to be used in the murder.

In an interview with The Witness yesterday, Mkhabela — who has been in the force for 27 years — said he was pleased with the arrest.

Mkhabela said before he could reach the men, Funeka allegedly produced a firearm and pointed it at the deceased.

Screaming for Funeka to put down his gun while running towards them, the gunshot went off, but Mkhabela persevered toward the commotion and managed to seize the firearm without being harmed.

He identified himself as a policeman to the suspect and placed him under arrest.

Umgungundlovu South cluster commander Major-General Lucas Ngobeni applauded Mkhabela for “good work” and encouraged other officers to do the same.

Funeka appeared briefly in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court yesterday and was remanded in custody until December 17.

A licensed 9 mm pistol was also recovered and will be sent for ballistic tests to establish if it was used in any other crimes in the province.

Also on Saturday, Pietermaritzburg K9 Unit members arrested a 20-year-old suspect for possession of unlicenced firearm at Imbali Unit J.

They went to a tavern in the area and found the suspect with a 9 mm Norinco pistol and four rounds of ammunition.

The man was arrested and charged with possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

• amil.umraw@witness.co.za

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