Manhunt launched after policeman and paramedic gunned down in Port Elizabeth

JULY 16, 2015

Eastern Cape police have launched a manhunt for three suspects who brutally gunned down an off duty police sergeant and his paramedic friend in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, at about 19:10 on Wednesday night.

“We are very shocked and extremely saddened by the murder of one of our police members and his friend. Our deepest condolences are extended to their family, friends and colleagues. It is huge loss for our community, as both these men were in the business of protecting and saving lives. 

"It is now that we request the New Brighton community to stand up and be counted and doing so by providing information on the identity and whereabouts of the perpetrators. We have the expectation that this  case should be solved swiftly because we know that somebody, somewhere has seen, heard  or know something about this incident, and they need to come forward," said the MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Weziwe Tikana on Thursday.

Sergeant Mzwabantu Xhathasi, 39 years was off duty and visiting his friend, Ishmael Phumeza, 39 at his home in Tshangana Street, New Brighton. They were standing at the gate of the premises when three unknown assailants suddenly started firing shots at them. The member died on the scene and his friend died on his way to the hospital.

Sergeant Xhathasi was a detective stationed at Mount Road FCS Unit and Mr Ishmael Phumeza was a paramedic with Netcare 911 in Port Elizabeth.

The police investigators returned to the crime scene this morning to further fine comb the area for leads and evidence.  Last night, several 9mm spent cartridges were found on the scene. 

“The investigation is receiving high priority and will be conducted by the Eastern Cape Hawks, said the Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen Celiwe Binta. She emphasized that those responsible will be hunted down to face the full might of the law.

“Right now, we are extending support to the bereaved families who are extremely shocked and anguished, whilst we try to make sense of this senseless and brutal killing of our member and his friend, she concluded.”