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'We now live in fear': man shocked after friend killed in police station attack

21 February 2018 - 11:10 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
A gang of robbers attacked the police station on Thursday morning.
A gang of robbers attacked the police station on Thursday morning.
Image: HeraldLIVE

Candidate attorney Xola Nqola has shared his dismay at the brazen attack on a police station in the Eastern Cape overnight‚ during which seven people were killed - one being a family friend.

A gang of robbers attacked the station in Engcobo‚ situated between Mthatha and Queenstown‚ in the early hours of the morning. Six police officials were killed and a soldier described as being off-duty‚ police said.

"It turns out that the retired soldier killed in cold blood is from my village and an old friend to my father‚" Nqola shared on Facebook.

"It is sad‚ it is bad‚ no amount of prayer can salvage us from this‚" he added.

He shared a wish that "the masses of our own people will rise up . . . against (these types of) gruesome criminal activities".

"An attack to the law enforcement institutions‚ is an attack to the safety and security of our communities‚" he commented.

He told TimesLIVE that for now‚ speculation on the ground was that the attackers had targeted the police to steal “firearms for ATM bombings”.

“The narrative in the community is that criminal activities take place on a daily basis. But it’s crimes like stock theft and car hijackings‚ and other normal crimes‚ not attacks on police.

“This is a shock for the community.

“We now live in fear.

“If they can attack the people meant to protect the community‚ who are we? Who will we turn to?” said Nqola.

Nqola was less than impressed with the police ministry‚ saying “they should stop operating through statements‚ and they must come to the scene and bring solutions”.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula is intending to visit the town today and national police headquarters has announced a special task team with top detectives will be investigating the police station attack.

Note: This article was updated to reflect the latest death toll.