Police have arrested a 32-year-old suspect after the murder of two Western Cape police officers at the weekend, who were also robbed of their firearms.
The Hawks had assigned a 72-hour activation plan to arrest the suspects swiftly.
Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said the police officers were on patrol at Phumla Street in Bloekombos, at about 1.25am, when their vehicle came under fire in an apparent ambush.
Traut said both officers were killed on the scene and robbed of their official firearms.
“The acting provincial commissioner of the Western Cape police, Major General Thembisile Patekile, has instituted the 72-hour Activation Plan with immediate effect, with the mobilisation of various police units to apprehend those responsible for the death of two police members of Kraaifontein,” Traut said.
On Monday, the suspect was seen being bundled into the back of a police van after police made a breakthrough in the murder investigation.
The identities of the sergeant and the constable will be released at a later stage, Traut added.
“The Hawks have been assigned to investigate the circumstances surrounding this heinous act against the state, and we appeal to the public to come forward with information that will assist us in bringing these criminals to book, as there is no space in society for them.
“Major General Patekile has expressed his sincere condolence to the families of the two fallen members and vowed his support to them during these challenging times,” Traut said.
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Popcru spokesperson Richard Mamabolo said the issue of police killings is a serious concern, and can no longer be overlooked.
“It requires communities to also fully participate in jointly ensuring the safety of our residential areas. Part of the problem can be attributed to the challenges of under-staffing and the uneven allocation of resources to these men and women in blue, forcing them to stretch their operations across a broader number of community populations in smaller groups, increasing their likelihood of being attacked,” he said.
Violence against police officers was also meant to generate fear and lawlessness in society, he said.
“These attempts must be nipped in the bud and the best possible way can be through working on improving community policing relations. It is a challenge that will continue if no urgent action is taken in ensuring more boots on the ground.
“We call on police officers to remain vigilant and to act decisively in the event that they come across such ill-intended people, who have developed the audacity to raise firearms at them, but also to take precautionary measures when carrying out their work, especially within the environments they patrol,” said Mamabolo.
Anyone with information on the incident can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211. Cape Times