Police mourn deaths of six members who died in accidents in Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal
Two separate accidents claimed the lives of six on-duty police officers on Sunday in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
In the first accident, four members in the Eastern Cape were travelling home from the Chris Hani District where they were part of a team deployed to the area to conduct crime prevention and awareness campaigns.
Police said preliminary investigations show the four were killed instantly after a collision between the police vehicle in which they were travelling and a truck near Engcobo.
A fifth person whose identity is known also died at the scene of the accident.
The first deceased police member was identified as 34-year-old Constable Buqaqawuli Nyembezi, who was attached to the eMaXesibeni sector teams. The officer had 10 years’ service.
The second victim was 35-year-old Constable Frank Lila. The officer had 10 years’ service and was also attached to the eMaXesibeni sector teams.
The third victim was 28-year-old Constable Lungelo Nogqala who had three years’ service and was attached to the Sulenkama Community Service Centre.
The fourth victim was identified as 31-year-old Ntombikayise Landu who had two years’ service and was a secretary to the district commander of the Alfred Nzo District.
On the same day, two members stationed at the Harding police station in KwaZulu-Natal died after they were hit by a vehicle. At the time of the incident, they were busy combing an accident scene for clues when they were struck.
“The pair succumbed to their injuries at the scene. These members have been identified as 36-year-old Sgt Alfred Gqumani and 34-year-old Const Sifiso Ngcobo,” said police spokesperson Vish Naidoo.
Naidoo said the national commissioner and his management team are deeply saddened by the sudden departure of the members.
“The organisation has been dealt a severe blow by the sudden passing of these young energetic members. The news of their untimely passing has sent shock waves through the corridors of every police precinct in the country. We take this opportunity to thank their families for allowing their children to serve the people of this country with diligence until their very last breath,” said Gen Khehla Sithole.
Naidoo said the police service employee health and wellness unit, which comprises psychologists and chaplains, has been deployed to provide support to the families of the deceased and the members who attended to the accident scenes.
He said memorial and funeral details will be communicated in due course.