Acting KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Kwazi Mshengu, has urged police to defend themselves relentlessly when faced with heavily armed criminals after yet another police officer was ruthlessly gunned in the latest spate of police killings that has plagued the province.

Mshengu’s spokesperson Gugu Sisalana said in a statement that police officer, Sergeant Thamsanqa Mbedu, was killed while he was on duty, alone in his vehicle, performing investigation duties in the Iniwe area at around 9.20pm.

“Sergeant Mbedu was driving when he was blocked by a vehicle that was parked on the road next to Dick’s Tavern. He switched on the blue lights trying to alert the driver of the parked vehicle to move the vehicle out of the road,” she said.

“While Sergeant Mbedu was waiting for the vehicle to be moved so that he could proceed, an unknown person came from behind the police van and had an argument with the member. The unknown person then took out a firearm and shot at Sergeant Mbedu several times and fled scene,” she said.

As the latest victim of KZN police killings, Mbedu sustained 27 gunshot wounds. Paramedics declared him dead on the scene. His firearm was not found on him.

Mshengu condemned the killing and tasked police to scour every corner in the province to find the suspect.

Police killings are a direct attack on the state

”When criminals draw out their firearms their intentions are clear and that is to kill police. We therefore call on police to retaliate and use their tactical expertise to fight back until the last bullet when faced with merciless criminals,” Mshengu said.

“Five police officers have been killed in the province in the past three weeks which is a clear indication that criminals are on a warpath against police. The murder of a police officer is a direct attack on the state and the rule of law, therefore the only bodies we should be counting are those of criminals and not of police officers. Police must not die with a gun in their hands, but they must defend themselves decisively,”  Mshengu said.

Mshengu appealed to anyone who may have information regarding the whereabouts of the suspect to contact the SAPS Crime Stop number 0860010111 or send tip-offs to MySAPS APP. All information received will be treated with confidentiality.

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Presh JM Reporter

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