A police sergeant was shot 27 times by heavily armed criminals in eMpangeni in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday evening, the provincial transport community and safety department said.
Acting MEC Kwazi Mshengu said Sgt Thamsanqa Mbedu was on duty in the Iniwe area on Saturday evening when his vehicle was blocked off by a car parked on the side of the road next to Dick’s Tavern.
He switched on his vehicle’s blue lights to ask the driver to move but an unknown person came from behind the police van and started an argument with Mbedu.
“The unknown person then took out a firearm and shot at Sergeant Mbedu several times and fled scene.”
Mbedu sustained 27 gunshot wounds and was declared dead on the scene.
His firearm was also missing.
Five police officers have been killed in the province in the past three weeks, said Mshengu.
“When criminals draw out their firearms, their intentions are clear and that is to kill police. We therefore call on police to retaliate and use their tactical expertise to fight back until the last bullet when faced with merciless criminals.
“The murder of a police officer is a direct attack on the state and the rule of law; therefore the only bodies we should be counting are those of criminals and not of police officers. Police must not die with a gun in their hands, but they must defend themselves decisively,” Mshengu said.