Bheki Cele 'taken aback' by struggle to get footage of cop shot in Cape Town CBD
Police minister Bheki Cele is not happy that investigators “can’t get footage” from the City of Cape Town showing what happened when a police constable was allegedly shot dead by a law enforcement officer in the CBD.
He added that a statement had yet to be taken from the suspect more than a week after the incident.
Cele revealed that there was an element of tension around the probe during the memorial service for Constable Thando Sigcu in Green Point, Cape Town, on Thursday.
Sigcu, 38, who worked as an undercover policeman, died on January 7 while apprehending a suspect in the CBD at around 9pm.
According to the police, while Sigcu was engaged in a tussle with the suspect, two city law enforcement officers stopped at the scene. Shots were fired which killed Sigcu. The suspect was also injured and is in a coma in hospital.
“We should be very careful that this matter doesn’t fan the fires of race, we should always work hard to avoid that,” said Cele.
“Somebody has died here, the questions are justified. You are asking the questions that I have asked. This member of SAPS died on the 7th and today is the 16th, it’s a week plus.
Cele said the suspect, as far as he understood, had not been formally charged. “What is even worse for me is even the statement has not been taken,” said Cele.
The case is being investigated by the Hawks. Uncomfortable about the apparent delay, Cele said he had since contacted the Hawks and prosecution authority (the NPA).
“I called ... to say what is going on here and I am told that the investigation is working closely with the prosecution,” said Cele. “There must be progress, especially for the family. They want to know what happened.”
Cele said there appeared to be little co-operation from the city and he was unsure if city officials had attended the memorial service.
“I have told the MEC that I am on the unhappy side about the way things are going. I am really taken aback that investigators are saying they can’t get the footage [of the shooting].
“This city is known to be the best in [terms of] cameras. They are all over ... I am talking about the city centre where all cameras are concentrated. The family needs answers and the police officer died on duty.”
Cele said he engaged Western Cape premier Alan Winde about developing a framework to co-ordinate the working relationship between police and law enforcement agencies in the province.
“We are working on the relationship but we are not there yet.”
Sigcu’s nephew, Phaphamani, said: “It’s been over week now and the suspect is still walking free. As the family, we want answers. We want to know what happened. Thando had gone out to work for his children. He wasn’t robbing anyone and he was killed on his job. We want justice.”
Richard Bosman, the city's safety and security executive director, said in a statement that they would co-operate with the investigation.
“The city is co-operating with both SAPS as well as the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid)," said Bosman.