The police commissioner has expressed ‘utter disappointment’ at the alleged presence of criminals in his ranks.
The SA Police Service has confirmed that two police officers – a male sergeant and a female constable – were shot and killed during a shootout with other SAPS members.
Spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said in a statement that a team comprising members from Crime Intelligence, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks), the National Intervention Unit and others were conducting operations in the areas of Dalton, Greytown and Wartburg in KwaZulu-Natal.
“At about 2:30am this morning the team was on a road between Greytown and Dalton when they spotted a police patrol vehicle approaching them in the vicinity of Seven Oaks area. The team tried to flag down the police patrol vehicle, but instead of stopping, the sergeant from the patrol vehicle allegedly opened fire on the team, which had to return fire.
“Both police officers in the patrol vehicle were killed. An angle grinder, jack hammer and other implements as well as ink-stained cash were found inside the patrol vehicle. It is believed that the cash may have been stolen from the Dalton Post Office earlier last night.”
The national commissioner of police, General Khehla John Sitole, expressed his “utter disappointment” at this evidence of police involvement in crime.
“The involvement of police officers in criminal activities will never be tolerated ,” said Sitole.
“I have instructed the provincial commissioner of KwaZulu-Natal to ensure that this matter be thoroughly investigated and all persons involved, including police officers, must be brought to book.”
(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)