Mpumalanga – A police constable narrowly escaped death when he was hit by a bullet in the leg during a shootout with suspects in Hendrina, Nelspruit.
In a statement, police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, said this was the second attack on a police officer within a space of a week.
“Barely two days back, a 57-year-Warrant Officer was stabbed to death in Kwamhlanga, and now another member, a 42-year-old police constable came under fire while police were attacked by criminals in Hendrina,” Mohlala said.
The 42-year-old police constable was shot after police received a tip-off.
“According to information, police received a tip-off about four suspicious persons who were in a park behind the post office in Hendrina. Police then headed to the location to investigate. It is said that immediately after the suspicious persons saw police approaching, they reportedly started running into different directions.
“Police pursued them, and one of the suspects reportedly took out a firearm and started shooting at the police. One member, a constable was injured on his leg by a stray bullet while the police vehicle was riddled with bullets,” Mohlala said.
Police, in collaboration with the community members, managed to arrest one suspect, aged 34, from Witbank.
The suspect was found in possession of a firearm with serial numbers filed off as well as eleven rounds of live ammunition.
He was charged with attempted murder and possession of an unlicensed firearm with ammunition.
“Police cannot rule out the possibility of adding other charges against him,” said Mohlala.
Following the incident, Provincial Commissioner of the SAPS in Mpumalanga Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela expressed serious concern toward criminals who launched attacks on police officials.
She also applauded the role community members played in assisting to apprehend the suspect and the recovery of the firearm and ammunition.
Picture: Picture: Twitter/@SAPoliceServices
Compiled by Junaid Benjamin