One police officer was killed while four others were seriously injured during two separate incidents in KwaZulu-Natal on Thursday night.
According to police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker, the first incident took place just before midnight when officers from the Public Order Police were conducting an operation in Umlazi, Durban.
The police were following up information on people who are in unlawful possession of firearms and went to the Zimeleni Informal Settlement at V Section.
Naicker said the gunman observed the police officers approaching and opened fire at them.
He said three police officers were injured and a 29-year-old constable died after being conveyed to hospital.
“The 44-year-old suspect was fatally wounded in the gun battle that ensued. A revolver with four rounds of ammunition as well as a dagger were seized by police. Charges of murder, attempted murder and an inquest docket were opened for investigation at the Umlazi SAPS,” said Naicker.
Earlier on Thursday, at about 3.30pm police officers were attacked in the Upper Tugela area.
They were responding to a report of domestic violence at Dukuza near Bergville, he said.
The officers were confronted by the man who became aggressive.
Naicker said he attacked both police officers with a hoe which resulted in one police officer being injured on the head while the other was injured in the arm.
The man then fled the scene, however he was pursued by police and arrested. Naicker said the man was arrested on charges of attempted murder and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
“The injured police officers were taken to hospital for medical attention,” he added.
Provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, condemned the attacks towards the five officers.
Mkhwanazi said police will not be deterred by ruthless criminals who have no respect for the laws of this country.
He said the police will continue to execute their constitutional mandate and arrest all those involved in criminal activities.
“I convey my heartfelt condolences to the family of our fallen police officer who died while executing his duties and I wish those police officers that were injured a speedy recovery,” said Mkhwanazi.