The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a murder suspect after police fired shots at a man who lunged at them with a knife on a rocky outcrop, where he had been hiding in Lusikisiki in the Eastern Cape this week.
IPID spokesperson Ndikela Cola said it was alleged that two police officers who were confronted by an armed suspect had both fired two shots at the man on Wednesday.
“It is alleged that two police officers both discharged two rounds with their service pistols when they were confronted with a suspect who threw stones at them whilst advancing towards them with a knife,” Cola said.
The slain man had allegedly earlier stabbed and killed his wife before fleeing the scene. Police from the SAPS K9 Unit from Lusikisiki and members of the Public Order Policing unit had eventually tracked and found him in the bush.
Cola said a police dog had managed to trace him to a bushy cliff, leading the police to the man’s hideout. He had apparently been hiding in a precarious alcove that was surrounded by huge rocks with only one entry point.
“The officers could not run away as running in a rocky forest area could have endangered their own lives or they could have fallen down the cliff. It is alleged that the police were left with no option but to defend themselves,” Cola said.
A Post mortem was conducted and the IPID’s investigation officer was in attendance as part of the investigation process. The Directorate continues to investigate this matter.”