Zuma condemns police constable's slaying

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pretoria - As condolences continue to pour in for slain police constable, Fihliwe Mavis Bengeza, President Jacob Zuma has described the incident as tragic and unacceptable.

According to police, officers were called to the scene at Zonkizizwe taxi rank in the East Rand at 8pm on Monday, where an ATM bombing was apparently in progress. When they arrived, a shootout ensued and one of the officers, Constable Bengeza, was shot in the face. Her colleague, Constable Sihle Mbatha, 27, was shot in the leg, but he is recovering in hospital.

Another police car also responded to the bombing and was shot at, but no one from that vehicle was injured. 

"We extend our sincere condolences to the family of this brave police official. She laid down her life to ensure a crime free society, and we salute her for that," said Zuma. 

He wished Mbatha a speedy recovery and commended the bravery most police showed in their professional conduct in the face of such dangers. "Thousands of hard working police officers place their lives on the line every day. With every call, there lurks the possibility of death and danger." 

Zuma was joined by National Police Commissioner, General Bheki Cele and the top management of the South African Police Service in condemning the killing.

"The cold-blooded killing of yet another police officer while attending an ATM bombing is indicative of the ruthlessness of criminals and this is also a clear representation of what our police men and women endure in their performance of their daily duties," said Cele.

No arrests had been made in the case, but Cele has requested an intensive investigation into this case.

He also pleaded with anyone that may have information about the killing to please inform the police. - BuaNews