Police top brass have condemned the “cold-blooded attack” of the police officers stationed at the Ngcobo Police Station in Umtata, Eastern Cape.
An unknown group of armed suspects entered the police station in the early hours of this morning and without warning, randomly opened fire on the members on duty.
Three members were killed instantly in the community service centre while an off-duty soldier was also shot dead as the suspects were fleeing.
The suspects made off with a police van taking two other members.
The bodies of two officers were later found along the roadside, six kilometres from the police station with gunshot wounds.
According to SAPS preliminary investigations, it appears that members were shot execution style.
While the motive for this attack is not clear yet police have established that the suspects have robbed an ATM a short distance away from the police station, stolen 10 firearms, as well as a police van from the station.
National Police Commissioner General Khehla Sitole says he is "appalled and deeply saddened by the cold and callous attack on our colleagues this morning”.
The national commissioner said he has "activated a task team comprising experienced detectives of the South African Police Service and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation to investigate this attack”.
This team will be supported by specialized medium to high-risk teams with the added support of the airwing.
"We will not rest until we have tracked down these heartless killers and bring them to book," added General Sitole.
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has called for calm from SAPS members. “I am aware how emotional this horrific incident is. Today I have instructed General Khehla Sitole to hunt those barbaric criminals and bring them to book. They must regret the day they sat and planned to attack the state.”
The National Commissioner has also called upon the community to assist with any information that could help identify and bring these perpetrators to book.
Minister Mbalula urged people to remain vigilant and report any possible suspicion to the police as these are very dangerous criminals who are armed.
Information can be communicated to the SAPS Crime Stop number 086 00 10111.
Callers may remain anonymous and all information will be treated in the strictest of confidence. - SAnews.gov.za