LAW ENFORCEMENT KILLINGS
Police hunt two gunmen after another off-duty officer shot dead in Cape Town
In the latest in a string of attacks on police, a 37-year-old sergeant from Bellville South was murdered while his friend was wounded in the attack and rushed to hospital.
Police in the Western Cape are on the hunt for two people who fatally shot a 37-year-old off-duty police sergeant and injured his 39-year-old friend in Khayelitsha.
Temba Mphalala, a 37-year-old police sergeant from Bardale, Mfuleni was killed on Sunday evening, in site B. He was based at SAPS Bellville South Vispol. His friend Loyisa Sizani, 39, from Crescent, Khayelitsha site B was injured.
According to Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Pojie, Mphalala and Sizani were seated in the sergeant’s car when they were approached by two gunmen who began firing rounds at them.
“Two unknown gunmen disembarked [from] a Toyota Quantum that stopped alongside them,” said Lt Colonel Poijie.
He added, “The suspects opened fire and hit both occupants several times, the policeman succumbed on the scene to multiple injuries, and his friend was rushed to hospital for medical treatment”.
Police in firing line
The latest shooting comes two weeks after News 24 reported on the deaths of two off-duty constables who were shot in Gugulethu. The victims were driving when they came under attack. The incident took place in Abonwabisi and Koornhof Streets, New Crossroads.
Earlier this month, a 30-year-old off-duty officer was hospitalised after being shot in the head just after midnight in Hillview in Lavender Hill, Cape Town.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Violence intensifies as third Cape Town law enforcement officer ambushed in just over a month
The quarterly crime statistics, between April and June, showed that two SAPS officers had lost their lives in the Western Cape.
Top brass concerned
Speaking at the SAPS National Commemoration Day on 3 September 2023, President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed a crowd at the Union Buildings in Pretoria regarding the growing concern over police officers dying in the line of duty.
During the financial year of 2022/2023, at least 34 South African Police Service (SAPS) members made the ultimate sacrifice while serving and safeguarding their communities.
Read more in Daily Maverick: The names of 34 police officers who paid the ultimate price trying to safeguard SA memorialised in Pretoria
“The increase in the killings of police officers, whether on or off duty, demonstrates the level of desperation of criminals to remove any obstacle that is in the way of their criminal intent. These attacks on police officers must come to an end,” said Ramaphosa.
City of Cape Town safety officers have also been targeted.
On 14 August, the Safety and Security Directorate of the City of Cape Town held a memorial service at the Civic Centre for two Learner Law Enforcement Officers (LLEO) who were fatally shot. Zamikhaya Kwinana, was murdered on 4 August during a volatile taxi trike that gripped the city around that time. Toufeeq Williams was caught in gang crossfire while off duty in Beacon Valley, Mitchells Plain.
Read More in Daily Maverick: Emotional farewell for two Cape Town safety officers shot dead in their thirties
Reagen Allen, MEC for Police Oversight and Community Safety, said criminals were demonstrating their arrogance by opening fire on anyone regardless of who was on the receiving end of their bullets.
“Those who attack law enforcement, including SAPS officers, should face the additional charge of treason, as they are directly attacking the state. We need these perpetrators behind bars serving life sentences without ever being released.
“We need to be firm and come down hard on these criminals,” said Allen.
Pat Raolane, Provincial Secretary of Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) of the Western Cape said the killings of any police officers, must be regarded as high treason with severe consequences.
“Life imprisonment should mean serving the rest of your life in prison and that you will not come back at all, regardless of any form of behaviour in the Correctional Centres or facilities. Our constitution is well spot on, that we all have the right to life, no one has the right to kill anyone”, said Raolane.
“Once you kill someone, you should know you will never come back, you stay in prison for the rest of your life,” he said. DM