SAPS NEWS: Three alleged cop killers arrested during an intelligence-driven operation
Media Statement from the office of the National Commissioner Media Centre
Corporate Communication and Liaison
South African Police Service
The National Commissioner of Police, General Khehla John Sitole has reiterated the South African Police Service’s stance that anyone who attacks members of the police undermines the authority of the State and will therefore be tracked down and arrested to face the full might of the law.
General Sitole had, subsequent to the killing of 37-year-old, Constable Motlalentoa Mahlatsi, directed
the Provincial Management to activate the 72 hour Reaction Plan as an offensive approach to ensuring the police do not rest until the alleged culprit(s) are behind bars.
Gauteng Province’s multidisciplinary team consisting of seasoned investigators, Tactical Response and Tracking Teams, then conducted an intelligence-driven operation in Gauteng and Mpumalanga, and in the early hours of this morning, within 48 hours after the senseless killing of Constable Mahlatsi at Elsburg, the team arrested three suspects and recovered two vehicles, two firearms and ammunition. Constable Mahlatsi was killed in the early hours of 11 July 2018 while attending to a complaint.
The first two suspects were arrested in Katlehong for their alleged involvement in the killing of Constable Mahlatsi. The police linked one of the suspects to the alleged murder of another police officer, 36-year-old Constable Bafana Happy Hlungwani who was killed at Germiston in April this year. This suspect was wanted on four more murder cases reported in Primrose during 2017 and 2018. During the arrest, the police recovered a hijacked vehicle, Chevrolet Cruz, an AK-47 assault rifle with a magazine and rounds of ammunition.
Further investigations led the team to Mpumalanga, eMbalenhle, where they arrested the third suspect, allegedly linked to the murder of Constable Mahlatsi. The team confiscated two pistols and a bullet riddled VW Polo.
The National Commissioner has condemned the killing of police officers and has, with regards to Constable Mahlatsi, further directed that the family of the deceased be afforded with the utmost support during this time of mourning. “The team must be applauded for their tireless effort in tracking down the alleged killers,” said General Sitole.
Members of the community are urged to work together with the police in order to fight against the continuing onslaught on police officers. “The police are part of our communities, they are the frontline of safety and security in our country. I am calling on to you as the community to stand against police killings and to say ‘hands off our police officers’. We need to reclaim our streets and to continue stamping the authority of the State,” said the National Commissioner as he was calling on to the community to join the fight against crime.
The suspects will be appearing in court soon. Anyone with information that can lead to the arrest and successful prosecution of police killers may anonymously contact the Crime Stop toll free line on 08600 10111.
Enquiries: Colonel Brenda Muridili - 071 686 9425