Police commissioner appoints Hawks‚ air wing to investigate Eastern Cape attack

21 February 2018 - 08:53
By Gareth Wilson
General Khehla John Sitole. File photo.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe General Khehla John Sitole. File photo.

National police commissioner General Khehla Sitole has appointed a task team to investigate an attack on a police station in the Eastern Cape.

At least six people‚ including police officers‚ were killed after a shooting at the Engcobo station on Wednesday morning.

“I am appalled and deeply saddened by the cold and callous attack on our colleagues this morning‚” Sitole said.

“I have activated a task team comprising of experienced detectives of the South African Police Service and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation [Hawks] to investigate this attack.”

The task team will be supported by specialised medium to high-risk units‚ with the added support of the air wing.

“We will not rest until we have tracked down these heartless killers and bring them to book‚” Sitole said.

National police spokesman Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said an unknown number of armed suspects entered the police station and started shooting at members on duty.

Three members died instantly and an off-duty soldier was also killed as the suspects fled.

“The suspects made off with a police van taking two other members. The bodies of both these members with gunshot wounds were later found along the roadside‚ 6km from the police station‚” he said

“According to preliminary investigations‚ it appears the members were shot execution style. While the motive for this attack is not clear yet, we have established that the suspects robbed an ATM a short distance away from the police station and stole 10 firearms as well as a police van from the station.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stop on 086 00 10111.

Callers may remain anonymous and all information will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

- HeraldLIVE and TimesLIVE