Two men have been arrested in connection with a shootout with police which resulted in the death of one police officer whose colleague was injured at Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.
Police spokesperson, Brigadier Jay Naicker, said on Wednesday night at about 9.30 pm, police officers from Nkandla SAPS acted on intelligence about a man who was in unlawful possession of a firearm at Vimbimbobo.
“As the police officers approached the suspect's homestead, they were met by a hail of bullets emanating from the house and a shoot-out ensued.”
Naicker said two police officers were injured in the shootout and were taken to hospital for medical attention.
Constable Happy Sipho Dladla (36) later succumbed to his injuries and died in hospital. The other police officer remains in a critical condition in hospital.
Naicker said the gunmen had stolen a pistol from the injured police officers before they fled into the darkness.
“Various police units, neighbouring police stations and the Hawks worked tirelessly throughout the night to trace the suspects involved in the attack.
“A 34-year-old suspect was placed under arrest on charges of murder, attempted murder and robbery after he was found hiding in a neighbouring homestead,” said Naicker.
He said the gun that was stolen was found in the suspect’s possession.
“The suspect, who was also injured during the shootout, was taken to hospital for medical attention where he is under police guard. A second suspect (40) was later arrested after an exhaustive operation and will appear in court soon.”
The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi has conveyed his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Constable Dladla.
“We are proud of him as he died doing what he loved, protecting his community. We are consoled by the fact that the culprits are behind bars where they belong,” he said.