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Constable killed by bullet discharged by mourner at cop's funeral

15 July 2019 - 10:04 By PENWELL DLAMINI
A police constable was declared dead on arrival at hospital.
A police constable was declared dead on arrival at hospital.
Image: Elvis Ntombela

A Dobsonville police constable was shot dead after shots were fired in the air at the funeral of another officer over the weekend.

Captain Mavela Masondo said that the 40-year-old female constable, whose name is yet to be released, was at a funeral of a colleague in Braamfischerville, Soweto, on Saturday when the incident happened.

“Members of the South African Police Service had just laid to rest one of their own who had died of natural causes, and were having refreshments after the funeral at the home of the deceased. It is alleged that during this time, a member of the public who was attending the same funeral, fired shots in the air and the constable was then struck by a bullet in her upper body. She was rushed to hospital and sadly, was declared dead on arrival,” said Masondo.

The shooter, a 55-year-old man, was arrested immediately and his firearm confiscated. He is expected to appear in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela has extended his sincere condolences to the colleagues and family of the deceased constable.

Meanwhile, also on Saturday, a reservist constable who was part of a team on operation at Mamelodi West Hostel Y-Section was rushed to hospital after sustaining injuries during an attack on police by a group of people, Masondo said.

“It is alleged that during the operation at the hostel, police apprehended a suspect in possession of drugs. The suspect was being escorted to the police vehicle when suddenly, a group of people attacked the members, in the process freeing the cuffed drug-suspect and stealing the member's personal belongings and loaded service pistol,” he said.

He added that a white Toyota Yaris with unknown registration was seen picking up some of the group members. Police immediately embarked on a tracing operation to retrieve the state hand radio and firearm, and to apprehend the suspects.

The firearm was recovered a few hours later abandoned in the hostel. No one has been arrested. “Police are appealing to law-abiding citizens to come forward with information that could lead to the arrest of both the drugs suspect, as well as the alleged police attackers,” Masondo said.

- Sowetan