Off-duty police constable fatally stabbed at Mfuleni tavern in Cape Town
An off-duty police constable, whose identity has not yet been released, was fatally stabbed on Friday at a tavern in Sizakhele Crescent in Mfuleni, Cape Town. The killing allegedly occurred after the suspect and the victim had an argument.
Police spokesperson Sergeant Wesley Twigg said, “The victim was taken to a medical facility for treatment where he succumbed to the injuries he sustained.”
Hawks spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Siyabulela Vukubi said a 59-year-old suspect, who is yet to plead in court, handed himself over to the police on Saturday.
He appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrates’ Court on Monday. The matter was postponed to 9 November and the accused was remanded in custody.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Weekend of bloodshed sees protection officer killed in mass shooting and policewoman found murdered
This incident follows several shootings of police officers in recent months in the Western Cape.
- Warrant Officer Lindela Mraqisa, a member of the Western Cape’s Protection and Security Service, was one of five people killed during a shooting in Gugulethu, Cape Town, on 30 September. She was off duty at the time.
- Asavela Mathe, a 29-year-old policewoman was murdered in Malgas camp, Extension 4, Mfuleni, on 1 October. Mathe, who was attached to the Samora Machel SAPS, had been out with a friend visiting acquaintances in the area when she was killed.
- Weeks before these killings, 37-year-old Sergeant Temba Mphalala from Bardale, Mfuleni, was killed in September in site B, Khayelitsha, while he was off duty.
There have also been attacks on Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (Leap) officers.
Read more in Daily Maverick: Police hunt two gunmen after another off-duty officer shot dead in Cape Town
The quarterly crime statistics, from April to June 2023, showed that two SAPS officers were murdered in the Western Cape in that period.
‘Alarming numbers of murders’
The Western Cape MEC for police oversight and community safety, Reagen Allen, said: “I extend my deepest condolences to the family, loved ones and colleagues of the SAPS constable who was stabbed over the weekend in Mfuleni and subsequently lost his life.
“The number of murders that have occurred over the last two months is extremely alarming. It is vital that SAPS intelligence improves significantly so that these and other attacks can be prevented.
“SAPS should also improve its relationship with communities, so that trust is restored, which will make it easier for them to share information with officers.”
“I maintain that an attack on any law enforcement, or SAPS officer should be regarded as an attack on the state. As the Western Cape government, we will continue to deploy our Leap officers in the murder hotspot areas across the Cape metro. Our Leap officers, who are deployed based on data, evidence and where the need is greatest, are strengthening SAPS’s hand in the fight against crime.”
Anthony Parish, chairperson of the Mfuleni Community Policing Forum, said, “Community engagement programmes, increased police visibility and efforts to address the underlying socioeconomic factors that contribute to crime will help curb the scourge of brazen crime.”
‘Dying like flies’
Ernest Madikane, the councillor for Ward 114 in Mfuleni, said the biggest challenge in Mfuleni was that the closest police station is far away.
“Earlier this year, we had a provincial imbizo and people raised concerns regarding this issue. We have made demands that Mfuleni residents want a fully fledged police station in Mfuleni. Till this day, the community hasn’t been helped.
“We have been pleading with police to assist [us to] combat crime in Mfuleni’s hotspots, particularly in the area of the car wash that is located in Klipfontein Road and Government Street.
“The place is like a battlefield where people come to Mfuleni … to entertain themselves. The next thing, fights break out among gang groups that hang out in that area and innocent people end up losing their lives. People die like flies here in Mfuleni and no one is coming to offer assistance.” DM