“NO words can adequately express the profound grief, pain and heartache that I feel today on receiving news of this heinous act committed by ruthless, disrespectful, cruel and cold-blooded killers,” Eastern Cape Provincial Commissioner Lt Gen Liziwe Ntshinga said today in response to the attack on the Ngcobo Police Station.
“On behalf of the SAPS, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the families, relatives, friends and colleagues of our fallen heroes,” she said.
In the early hours of this morning, an unknown number of armed suspects stormed into the Ngcobo Police Station that lies between Umtata and Queenstown in the Eastern Cape and opened fire on police who were in duty.
Three of the SAPS members were instantly killed in the Community Service Centre. As the suspects were fleeing, they shot dead a retired soldier and made off with one of the police vans and took two SAPS members as hostages. Ten firearms were also taken. About 6km from the police station along a road, the bodies of both police hostages were found with gunshot wounds. The police vehicle has been recovered.
A task team comprising seasoned SAPS detectives and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation will be supported by specialised medium to high risk teams, with the added support of the SAPS airwing to investigate this attack. The team has been beefed up by national experts to help comb for clues that could lead to a speedy arrest of the perpetrators.
MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison Weziwe Tikana joined Ntshinga to offer her support and condolences at this difficult time.
National Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula and National Commissioner-General Khehla John Sitole were expected at Ngcobo later today.
The community is warned not to try and apprehend the culprits as they are armed and dangerous. Instead, urged to assist with any information that could help identify the perpetrators.
Information can be communicated to the SAPS Crime Stop number 086-001-0111. Callers may remain anonymous and all information will be treated in the strictest of confidence.