The four police officers allegedly involved in the execution-style killing of a robbery suspect in Krugersdorp two weeks ago which was captured on CCTV footage have been suspended.
Police spokesman Colonel Noxolo Kweza said the officers – a sergeant and three constables – had been arrested by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) earlier on Tuesday and were currently in police custody. Suspension notices were served on on them while in custody‚ Col Kweza said.
“The four‚ who have been served in custody‚ have 48 hours whereby they must respond in writing and indicate why they should not be suspended. More suspensions against other members are also being considered‚” Col Kwewa added.
He said that during the incident‚ it is alleged members from Krugersdorp had responded to a complaint of a suspicious vehicle parked outside a business premises in Lewisham. There were two people inside the vehicle.
“On arrival at the scene‚ two members saw a Toyota Conquest‚ with two men inside. As the members were approaching the vehicle‚ one of the occupants of the Toyota started shooting at the police who then returned fire. Police called for back up and another police vehicle which was in the nearby vicinity responded.
“The driver of the Toyota sped off while the other suspect escaped on foot. A car chase ensued and shots were fired. The suspect was shot and killed. The firearm used by the suspect was recovered and was allegedly stolen from a security guard in Moroka‚ Soweto. Police initially opened an inquest docket‚ however the charges were later changed to murder after the footage surfaced‚” Col Kweza said.
Acting National Police Commissioner‚ Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane said law enforcement officers were there to keep law and order and that this should not degenerate into violence.
“This calls for assertive policing as opposed to police brutality. As IPID is already investigating this matter‚ we intend to co-operate with them fully to unravel the mystery behind this inhumane slaying.”