By Mashudu Netsianda
The Zimbabwean Embassy in South Africa is verifying the nationalities of four suspects allegedly involved in the killing of a police officer in Johannesburg’s Diepsloot area.
Detective Captain Oupa Matjie was shot dead by the four suspects alleged to be Zimbabweans by media reports in South Africa.
According to the media reports, Praymore Dube, Bongani Moyo, Mongameli Mpofu and another one only identified as Ronny shot Det Capt Matjie (54) in the neck and he died on the spot.
Det Capt Matjie and a colleague were tracing suspects who were wanted in connection with a case of attempted murder and robbery when they came into close contact with the suspects, and one of them opened fire.
Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to South Africa Mr David Douglas Hamadziripi yesterday said that he has since directed the Johannesburg Consulate to verify the nationalities of the four suspects.
“The nationalities of the Diepsloot murder suspects is yet to be verified. You cannot claim that one is a Zimbabwean simply because of their accent without looking into their identity documents.
“I have directed our officials at the Johannesburg Consulate to verify whether those suspects are indeed Zimbabweans or not,” he said.
Mr Hamadziripi, however, condemned the fatal attack on the South African police officer and urged Zimbabweans resident in the neighbouring country to desist from any form of criminality.
“We strongly condemn any act of criminality by either our people or anyone in South Africa. We want our people to abide by the laws of our host country in as much as we would also want foreign nationals in Zimbabwe to respect our laws,” he said.
Last week, Capt Matjie and his colleague only identified as Sergeant Thipe conducted a joint tracing operation with Diepsloot Crime Prevention Unit following a case of attempted murder and robbery which occurred in the area.
“The case had been allegedly committed by the four suspects. During the tracing that was led by the informant who called the main suspect known as Praymore Dube to supply him with the live ammunition, the target told the informant to meet with him first at Ext 01 and changed again to Tanganani open space at Diepsloot Ext 3,” said South African Police Service (SAPS) in a statement.
It is reported that the detectives then hid their vehicles before taking cover in an open ground.
The informant walked to meet Dube while a police officer in civilian clothing followed him. Dube is alleged to have noticed some unusual movements and started to shoot randomly.
Dube reportedly managed to escape and Capt Matjie grabbed him from behind, as he ran through a passage to the informal settlement where he was staying. He, however, shot the detective in the neck. After the shooting, Dube and Moyo fled.
Mpofu was later arrested and he appeared at the Randburg magistrate’s court on charges of house robbery and attempted murder.
He was remanded in custody while the other suspect who was not named is in hospital under police guard after he was injured while being apprehended. The other two suspects were arrested in Pine Heaven informal settlement in Krugersdorp. The Chronicle