Durban – Six police officers were killed in two separate crashes in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal while on duty.
Their deaths were mourned by the National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Khehla John Sitole, who conveyed his heartfelt condolences to family, friends, relatives and fellow officers.
In the first incident, in the Eastern Cape, four police officers were returning home Sunday from the Chris Hani district where they were part of an SAPS team that was deployed to the region to carry out crime prevention and awareness campaigns, door -speak of the national police, Brigadier Dit Vishnu Naidoo.
“According to preliminary inquiries, the four were killed instantly as a result of a collision between the police vehicle they were traveling in and a truck near Engcobo,” Naidoo said.
“A fifth person whose identity is known also died at the scene of the accident,” he said.
The deceased police officers were identified as Constable Buqaqawuli Nyembezi, 34, who was attached to the Mount Ayliff sector teams.
Naidoo said the officer had ten years of service.
The second victim was identified as Constable Frank Lila, 35, who had been on duty for 10 years and who was attached to the Mount Ayliff area crews.
The third victim was identified as Constable Lungelo Nogqala, 28.
He served for three years and was attached to the Sulenkama Community Service Center.
The fourth victim was identified as Ntombikayise Landu, 31, who had been in the service for two years and who was secretary to the district commander of Alfred Ndzo.
“On the same day, two members stationed at the Harding Police Station in KwaZulu-Natal died after being struck by a vehicle. At the time of the incident, the two men were busy searching an accident scene for clues when they were struck. The couple unfortunately succumbed to their injuries at the scene, ”Naidoo said.
The officers were identified as Sergeant Alfred Gqumani, 36, and Constable Sifiso Ngcobo, 34.
Naidoo said the national commissioner and his leadership team were deeply saddened by the sudden departure of these members.
“The organization has been hit hard by the sudden passing of these energetic young members. News of their untimely deaths sent shockwaves through the halls of every police station across the country. We take this opportunity to thank their families for allowing their children to diligently serve the people of this country until their last breaths, ”Sitole said.
The SAPS Employee Health and Welfare Unit, which includes psychologists and chaplains, was deployed to provide support to the families of the deceased as well as to members who witnessed the two accident scenes.