- The country is mourning the brutal killing of five police officers and an off-duty soldier in the Eastern Cape
- Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has called the “national tragedy” brazen and horrifying
- The South African police said it would not rest until justice is served
South African Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has spoken up about the killing of five Eastern Cape cops on Wednesday.
Mbalula described the attack, which saw armed men storming into Ngcobo Police Station, as “brazen and horrifying”, Eyewitness News reported.
The gunmen killed three officers in the station, before taking two other cops hostage in a stolen police van.
Briefly.co.za gathered the hostages were later found dead at the side of the road. Both cops were fatally shot.
Unfortunately, an off-duty soldier was also caught in the cross fire, resulting in another death.
The exact motive for the crime is not known, but it was reported 10 firearms had been stolen during the incident and a nearby ATM was vandalised.
According to police ministry’s Vuyo Mhaga, they were questioning potential eyewitnesses. Mhaga added the incident was “very horrifying”.
“There were data capturers that were at the police station, obviously they will play a critical role to make sure that we can identify what we’re looking for.”, he added.
National Police Commissioner General Khehla John Sitole said he was appalled and deeply saddened by the gruesome act of violence, which saw five of their colleagues losing their lives.
He added the police will not rest until the “heartless killers” are found and prosecuted.
"I have activated a task team comprising of experienced detectives of the South African Police Service and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation to investigate this attack.”, the commissioner said.
The murders of the five law enforcement officer had been described as a national tragedy, and the Parliament’s portfolio committee has taken the incident personal, claiming it was an attack on the state.
The committee called on the national commissioner to establish a senior multi-agency team of investigators, which should be led by a senior general, to investigate the matter.
"The minister has instructed the general of police to make sure they hunt down all these barbaric criminals.", police ministry's Mhaga said, adding Mbalula would be visiting the area.
Do you have a story to share with us? Inbox us on our Facebook page and we could feature your story.