A police constable from Mpumalanga was fatally wounded on Friday when a shooting broke out between the police and suspects during a robbery at a shop in Kabokweni in Mbombela, Mpumalanga.
Const. Mzwandile Innocent Mthana (34) was attached to Kabokweni’s visible policing unit at the time of her death.
According to Brig. Selvy Mohlala, police spokesperson, said the police responded at around 01:00 to a robbery at a sweets shop in Kabokweni. The suspects gained access to the shop by digging a hole under a wall.
“When the officers arrived at the store, they encountered six armed robbers. A shootout broke out during which Const. Mthana was shot dead,” Mohlala confirmed.
“One of the suspects, a 32-year-old, was also fatally wounded during the shooting.”
A preliminary investigation indicates that the suspects looted cigarettes and an unknown amount of cash.
Vusi Shongwe, MEC for community safety in Mpumalanga, and Lt. Gen. Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, police commissioner in the province, condemned the incident and also expressed their condolences to Mthana’s family, friends and colleagues.
Manamela pledged that the police will not rest until the suspects responsible for Mthana’s death are apprehended.
“An attack on police officers will not be tolerated as it is considered a direct attack on the state. The perpetrators must know that the police are on their trail and they will never find peace as they will be hunted down and brought to justice,” said Manamela.
Shongwe said the police should not be deterred but continue to go the extra mile to protect and serve communities.
“To honor the bravery of the late constable and many others who lost their lives in the line of duty, the police must urgently apprehend whoever is responsible for this tragedy,” said Shongwe.
Shongwe also appealed to members of the public who have information about this case to come forward and assist the police.