Ricochet News

Slain Ngcobo police officers to get heroes' funerals as hunt for suspects continues

Feb 22, 2018
Slain Ngcobo police officers to get heroes' funerals as hunt for suspects continues

The hunt for a gang that stormed a police station in Ngcobo in the early hours of Wednesday morning and killed five police officers as well as an off-duty soldier continued on Thursday with authorities calling on the public for leads that can help in their investigations.

According to police information, an unknown group of armed suspects entered the Ngcobo Police station and without warning, randomly opened fire on the members on duty. They also blew up a nearby ATM for money.

Meanwhile, police top management, both national and from the Eastern Cape, are visiting families of the fallen heroes on Thursday.

"A high caliber Task Team was assembled on Wednesday - comprising of Detectives, the HAWKS, Crime intelligence, Tracing team TRT just to mention a few," said police spokesperson, Captain Khaya Tonjeni.

"They never slept, but hot on the heels of perpetrators.

"They were busy analysing the evidence collected from the scene and using it to comb for clues that could assist the search for the perpetrators.

"We are hoping for a breakthrough in arrest and we wait anxiously."

He said that on the service delivery front, police are also working on normalising the situation at the Ngcobo police station so that it continues to offer quality service to Engcobo community.

"The minister encouraged the team to leave no stone unturned in search of these barbaric criminals. He said words of condolences to family and Saps members and promised that the fallen heroes will be sent off in State Officials Funeral as they lost their lives in the line of duty for the country," Captain Tonjeni said.

"He alluded that we have a SAPS Education Fund that must be utilized to assist the children of the deceased to advance educationally."

The National Commissioner also gave direction to members in the task team and said "we may be shaken but unmoved in our resolve to stamp the rule of law and affirmation of state authority".

Wide condemnation

The killings have attracted wide condemnation from society.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday said no stone must be left unturned in hunting down these criminals and ensuring that they are brought to justice.

Its Shadow Minister of Police, Zakhele Mbhele, is expected to visit Engcobo on Thursdayin a bid to find solutions to the challenges faced by this station which is an essential component to fighting crime.

Farmers association, Agri Eastern Cape, on Wednesday added its voice in condemning the attack on the Ngcobo police station, in Engcobo, and pledged its assistance to police.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) in the Eastern Cape said "this attack to the police station and killing of the servants of the people is a reflection of a weak crime intelligence capacity that has been compromised by the criminal corporate capture syndicate".