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Policeman murdered; colleague injured

News in brief - Date: 09 October 2017

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A police officer was shot and killed by unknown suspects in front of his home at Dzwerani Village near Thohoyandou on Sunday evening.

According to the provincial police spokesperson, Lt-Col Moatshe Ngoepe, Lt-Col Phineas Marubini Mamatsiari (55) was shot and killed in front of his home at approximately 20:24. He was attached to the Thohoyandou SAPS’ Vehicle Investigation Services.  “It is alleged that the Lt-Col Mamatsiari arrived at his home from work when he was attacked, shot and killed by two unknown suspects,” said Ngoepe.

The shooters fled the scene with the police man’s state vehicle.

Police were swift to react and chase down the shooters. While in pursuit, police received reports that the same suspects have attacked security guards at the Mpheni-, Waterval- and Mbhokota Clinic and later the Bungeni Health Centre. During these attacks, the suspects robbed four firearms from security guards. The attacks occurred until about 00:45.

At one stage, the suspects were spotted near the University of Venda and the police tried to chase them down. A shoot-out ensued between the suspects and police, leaving a constable from the Thohoyandou Public Order Police Unit seriously wounded. The 32-year-old constable, whose identity is not yet known, is currently recovering in hospital.

Limpopo police commissioner Genl Nneke Ledwaba condemned the incident, saying that it was an attack directly on the State. “We cannot afford to lose members due to criminal acts by these unscrupulous individuals who want to turn this province into a banana place and as such we are going to leave no stone unturned until everybody involved in this chain of incidents is brought to book,” said Ledwaba.

Ledwaba called on the public to come forward if they have information that can assist in the police’s investigation. People who want to help can contact Capt Mashamaite at Tel 071 675 9928 or go to their nearest police station.

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