The chairperson of the portfolio committee on police has called for CCTV cameras to be installed in police stations across the country following the killing of five police officers and a soldier this morning.
Francois Beukman said the installation of the cameras would be an urgent implementation of police station safety which was in line with strong recommendations made by his team.
Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo, spokesperson for the national commissioner General Khehla John Sitole said the brutal attack happened shortly after midnight.
“An unknown group of armed men entered the Ngcobo Police Station, Eastern Cape and randomly fired shots at the officers on duty. “Three officers were killed instantly and an off duty soldier was shot dead as the suspects were fleeing from the police station.
It is understood that the soldier was walking near the police station at the time of the attack.
“The suspects made off with a police van taking two other members (with). The bodies of both these members with gunshot wounds were later found along the roadside, six kilometers from the police station. According to preliminary investigations, it appears that members were shot execution style,” said Naidoo.
The motive of the attack is not yet known but the men are alleged to have stolen 10 firearms as well as a police van from the station. Naidoo said they have established that the suspects had also robbed an ATM a short distance away from the police station.
“We are waiting for the bank to tell us exactly what time the robbery happened,” said Naidoo.
Sitole, who has activated a team of detectives to hunt the the killers, has condemned the incident.
“I am appalled and deeply saddened by the cold and callous attack on our colleagues this morning. I have activated a task team comprising experienced detectives of the South African Police Service and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) to investigate this attack,” said General Sitole.
Police minister Fikile Mbalula, who will be visiting the police station today, also expressed disgust at the incident and asked officers to stay calm.
“I call for calm from our members, as I am aware how emotional this horrific incident is…These are very dangerous criminals. I urge people to remain vigilant and calm and report any possible suspicion to the police.” Mbalula said.