F State alleged cop killers arrested

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole has welcomed the arrest of two suspects, who are allegedly responsible for the attack on two Free State sergeants on Saturday.

Sergeant Lloyd Poonyane, 41, was shot and killed, while his colleague Lydia Tladi, 45, was injured when they came under attack on Saturday while performing crime prevention duties in Vierfontien.

Police said the two were attacked after they spotted and followed a Ford Bantam bakkie, which was occupied by two suspicious occupants.

“They followed the bakkie as far as Orkney in the neighbouring North West province,” said police spokesperson, Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.

He said the sergeants approached the Bantam bakkie on foot after the driver brought it to a halt at a stop sign. The occupants of the said vehicle also got out of their vehicle and denied the police the opportunity to search their vehicle. An argument ensued, resulting in the suspects allegedly shooting both SAPS members. 

Sergeant Poonyane was killed after he sustained a gunshot wound to his chest and Sergeant Tladi was wounded in the leg.

The suspects fled, taking with them both members’ service pistols and ammunition.

On Sunday morning, after being briefed of this attack, the National Commissioner ordered that the investigation team should not rest until those responsible are arrested and brought to book. 

Said Naidoo: “In less than 48 hours, the team comprising members from the North West Organised Crime Unit, Klerksdorp Trio Crime Unit, National and Provincial Crime Intelligence Units, as well as a Tactical Response Team, who continued to work tirelessly, tracked the first suspect to a house in Soweto on Sunday night.

“Here, a 38-year-old man was arrested and a Ford Bantam fitting the description of the one used on Saturday night, as well as a 7.65 pistol, with three live rounds of ammunition, were recovered.”

He said investigations thereafter led the team to Embalenhle in Secunda, where a 25-year-old suspect was also arrested.

“The investigation team recovered three 9mm pistols and over 50 live 9mm rounds, as well six cell phones from this suspect. One of the pistols was reported stolen in Cleveland in June 2010. The serial numbers of the other two handguns were erased. All the firearms will be sent for ballistic testing to establish if they were used in the commission of any crimes,” Naidoo said.

Meanwhile, the two suspects are likely to face charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery and possession of property suspected to be stolen. They will appear in the Orkney Magistrate Court no later than Thursday, 13 February 2020.

“We continue to appeal to anyone, who may have any information on crime, to please contact the SAPS Crime Stop number 086 00 10111 or information may be communicated via MySAPS App. Callers may remain anonymous and all information will be treated with the strictest confidence,” said Naidoo. – SAnews.gov.za