Four police officers have been gunned down in just one week in Cape Town, and police chiefs have now set up a task team to investigate the spate of attacks on the men in blue.
Two officers have been killed in the cowardly attacks, while two are fighting for their lives in hospital.
Only one bust has been made so far.
In the latest fatality, Constable Luntu Nkabe, 38, was shot twice in the head in an apparent ambush on Friday night in Delft.
Yesterday, a 40-year-old warrant officer from Milnerton was shot and wounded in the early hours of the morning while attending a robbery in Joe Slovo.
Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana says the officer was shot in the neck and is in a stable condition in hospital. A suspect in his late twenties was arrested.”
Last week Constable Lindekile Sikade, 39, was shot and killed outside his home in Philippi East, and three days later Constable Baxolele Tshatsha, 32, was shot in the face while sitting outside a house in KTC, Gugulethu, shortly after midnight.
Chairperson of the Mitchell’s Plain Community Policing Forum, Hanif Loonat, believes the shootings are “well-planned attacks”.
“I hope this is not politically motivated or from within the ranks of cops, the corrupt ones trying to get out the honest officers,” he says.
“But something is happening, we never had our officers shot within seven days, usually it’s one a month or something.”
But provincial police spokesperson, Brigadier Novela Potelwa, says they cannot speculate and will wait to be guided by investigations.
“The recent spate of attacks on police officials is a major concern for the management of the police in the Western Cape,” she says.
“It is on that basis that a task team to probe the root causes of these attacks has been set up. Our detectives are working around the clock to bring the perpetrators to book.”
Yesterday Constable Nkabe’s brother, Welcome, 40, says he was sleeping when a friend came to tell him about the shooting.
“The first thing I saw was a pool of blood and I knew it was bad,” he says.
“[Officers] opened him and I could see he had been shot in the head, twice, the one bullet went in the side of the head and travelled to the other end but didn’t exit and the other one either entered or exited on his chin.
“From what I understand he was driving someone’s bakkie and when he came to an intersection two cars were blocking the road so he drove on the pavement to pass them.
“That’s when the window on the canopy of the van was broken and when he got out asking what was happening, a gun was pointed at him, he raised his hands [in surrender] but they shot him anyway.”
Nkabe’s firearm, cellphone and wallet were still on him.
Welcome says thugs have lost respect for police. “It’s like the people doing this don’t even acknowledge that they are shooting an actual person, that behind the uniform there is an individual,” he says.
“We have lost respect for the very people who are meant to protect us, how can they protect us when they themselves are behind hunted?”
Western Cape Safety and Security MEC Dan Plato agrees with Welcome and says: “We don’t know what gives rise to the attacks on police but I urge them to be very vigilant and not let these attacks deter them from doing their jobs.
“Society needs to get back to a point where we respect our law enforcement officials.”