Mpumalanga cops mum on alleged cop killer

04 September 2017 - 16:34 By Naledi Shange
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On duty SAPS member. File photo.
On duty SAPS member. File photo.
Image: Daniel Born

Mpumalanga police would on Monday not disclose whether a woman alleged to have assaulted and mauled a female police officer to death was still being kept in the holding cells of the same police station where the attack occurred.

Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said they would not reveal this information as it was an operational matter.

All he would divulge was that the 32-year-old woman‚ Gugu Msiza‚ had appeared in the KwaMhlanga Magistrate’s Court on Monday afternoon.

“She said she would be using a Legal Aid lawyer and her case was postponed to Monday‚” said Hlathi.

While the initial police statement had stated that Msiza was suspected to have a mental illness‚ Hlathi said this had not been confirmed.

Her state of mind was not discussed in court‚ said Hlathi.

Lieutenant-Colonel Sibongile Vilakazi collapsed and died at the police station on Saturday after allegedly being attacked by Msiza.

Vilakazi had gone to Msiza‚ who is an awaiting-trial prisoner‚ to give her clothes and medication.

"[She] walked into the cell to wake her‚ to which she didn't respond. The suspect then jumped on the police officer‚ grabbed her with her hair and banged her head several times against the wall and bit her on the neck‚" said Hlathi.

"Other colleagues tried to assist her‚ however it was too late as she was already seriously injured. The victim managed to walk on her own into the kitchen cells‚ however collapsed shortly after."

Paramedics who were summoned to the scene declared the officer dead.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula said Vilakazi had followed procedure when she entered the cell. She had been with another officer when she headed to the cell.

That officer was unharmed‚ said Hlathi.

It was not the first time Msiza had allegedly attacked a police officer.

"The suspect had been previously arrested for several cases including an assault on a police officer and malicious damage to property. It also came forth that some time ago‚ the same suspect attacked police officials while they were trying to apprehend her brother on an assault case at their home‚" said Hlathi

"As a result‚ she had appeared at Kwamhlanga Magistrate's Court on 31 August 2017‚ for two counts of malicious damage to property‚ assault‚ defeating the ends of justice‚ resisting arrest and her cases were postponed to the 7th September".


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