A 47-year-old traffic warden of the Joburg Metro Police Department was shot and killed on Friday night (16 February) while attempting to halt an armed robbery.
The warden was off duty and dressed in civilian clothing when he witnessed the crime in Ivory Park. This is the fourth death of a Joburg Metro officer in less than a month.
MMC for Public Safety, Michael Sun, said that when the warden tried to intervene, three armed robbers opened fire on him, shooting him in the arm and chest. He died at the scene.
“Immediately after the incident, the acting regional JMPD commander called all officers on duty to barricade the area in search of the suspects. Unfortunately, no arrests have been made,” he said.
Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba said he was bitterly disappointed and angered that yet another official has lost his life while attempting to serve and protect.
“It must be stopped. I have called on Provincial Police Commissioner, Deliwe de Lange to assist in tracking down the suspects and bring the suspects to book. She has assured me that Saps will do all in its power to ensure the perpetrators are found and held to account,” Mashaba said.
Metro police’s new chief, David Tembe, has since been tasked with setting up a team of Metro police directors to find a solution to the crisis the department is facing.
Last week the department bid farewell to officer Azwinndini David Ratshikhopa who died of a fatal head wound after trying to stop a hijacking. At the memorial, Tembe said that over 40 officers have been killed in the line of duty since the formation of the department in 2001. He agreed that officers should act after such an incident to bring the perpetrators to book.
Two other female Metro police officers died on duty on Witkoppen Road near Montecasino. They were driven into at a roadblock.