NEWS
21/02/2018 11:22 SAST | Updated 21/02/2018 11:55 SAST

EC Cop Murders: Experienced Investigators Tasked To Probe Attack

SAPS will not rest until the killers are brought to book.

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Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole has established a task team of experienced, top investigators to probe the murder of five police officers and a soldier in Ngcobo, near Mthatha in the Eastern Cape.

"I have activated a task team comprising experienced detectives of the South African Police Service and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation to investigate this attack," Sitole said.

He added that the team will be supported by specialised, medium to high-risk teams, with the added support of the Air Wing.

"We will not rest until we have tracked down these heartless killers and bring them to book."

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula condemned the attack, saying that the suspects must regret the day they sat and planned to attack the state.

Motive

Mbalula also confirmed that the suspects stole firearms from the police station.

"These are very dangerous criminals. I urge people to remain vigilant and calm and report any possible suspicion to the police," he said.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo, the officers and off-duty soldier were killed when a group of men attacked the Ngcobo police station on Wednesday morning.

The unknown suspects entered the police station in the early hours of the morning and without warning, randomly opened fire on the members on duty.

"Three members were killed instantly in the community service centre. An off-duty soldier was also shot dead as the suspects were fleeing," Naidoo said.

"The suspects made off with a police van, taking two other members. The bodies of both these members with gunshot wounds, were later found along the roadside, 6km from the police station.

ATM robbery

The suspects have apparently also been implicated in an ATM robbery a short distance away from the police station.

The motive for the killing is unclear.

The commissioner also called upon the community to assist with any information that could help to identify the perpetrators and which could lead to their successful prosecution.

Meanwhile chairperson of Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Police, Francois Beukman, is requesting a briefing from the Sitole when he appears before the committee next week.

The committee also called for the urgent implementation of police station safety, in line with strong recommendations made by the committee.

"Among some of the recommendations made is the installation of CCV cameras in police stations across the country. The fight against the proliferation of arms must be heightened, as this will remove the tools of crime from these criminals."

Beukman added that the committee called for Mbalula and the Department of Health to offer support to the families of the victims of the attack.

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