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Reward offered to find cop killers

The Koffiefontein Police Station where the attack took place. Picture: Danie van der Lith

A REWARD of R300 000 has been offered for anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of the suspects who killed two SAPS members at the Koffiefontein police station last week.

This comes following the fatal shootings of constables Obert Boitumelo Mekoa and Mzonani David Manjo, both 32 years old, whose bodies were discovered in the early hours of Thursday morning when their colleagues returned from their evening patrols.

Mekoa was shot once in the head while Manjo was shot in the back and in the head.

There has been widespread condemnation of violence against members of the SAPS and discussions are under way to determine ways of ensuring safer working conditions for law enforcement officials.

The incident in Koffiefontein was the third such case last week, where criminals targeted South African police stations

About 30 firearms, including 9mm pistols, R5 rifles and shotguns, were reported stolen from a police station in Peddie in the Eastern Cape on Tuesday last week, while a sergeant from Lingelethu West SAPS, in the Western Cape, was shot in the face by attackers in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Acting National Police Commissioner, Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba, is among those who have strongly condemned the attacks on the police stations in Koffiefontein and Khayelitsha.

“Attacks on members of the South African Police Service are unacceptable and armed assaults on police stations should be condemned by all sectors of our society,” said Mothiba.

“A police station is a place where community members go to seek help or to report a crime. These premises are safe havens for victims and the communities we serve. It is shocking that the criminal elements enter with firearms and injure and kill police officials in this manner.

“We offer our most heartfelt condolences to the families of the two constables who were killed (in Koffiefontein) and wish our wounded colleague a speedy recovery. We can assure them that the South African Police Service will not rest until the perpetrators are brought to book.”.

The statement from the acting commissioner’s office, further called upon the public to assist in ensuring the safety of law enforcement officials by coming forward with any information that could lead to the arrest of “the thugs who carried out attacks and murders” on SAPS members.

Information can be given at any police station or by calling the Crime Stop number 08600 10111 or sending a text message to Crime Line on 32211, anonymously if needs be.

National government will also be looking at ways to address the issue as police management will be asked to brief Parliament’s portfolio committee on police on an implementation plan for steps to ensure safer working conditions for law enforcement by the end of July.

Among the recommendations is the extensive use of CCTV and body cameras in every police station in the country.

Last week, the chairperson for the committee on police, Francois Beukman, said that implementing these measures need to be prioritised, stating that part of the service’s R87 billion budget should be allocated for this equipment.