The wounded officer, only identified as Sergeant Msotyana, may lose his left eye.
Now fellow cops are calling for more staff at stations, saying they have become “bait” for the opportunistic criminals.
Sergeant Msotyana had been on duty at Lingelethu West Police Station in Khayelitsha yesterday when two suspects, pretending to report a robbery, entered the building just after 3am.
Police Minister Fikile Mbalula says the suspects were armed with rifles and opened fire in the charge office.
One of the gunmen jumped over the counter and it is believed one of the commanders on duty retaliated and returned fire.
He says Msotyana was shot in the left eye and was transported to Mitchells Plain Melomed Hospital.
Mbalula has condemned the attack and assured South Africans that perpetrators will be brought to book.
“Police are protectors of communities and we will not allow these kinds of acts to undermine the authority of the state,” Mbalula said.
Western Cape police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula, has vowed to catch the gunmen.
“Provincial detectives are hard at work in pursuit of suspects following the brazen attack on the Lingelethu West Police Station in Khayelitsha,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa.
“The motive for the attack at this stage has not yet been established.
“General Jula has assured that the perpetrators of this act will be brought to book and they will face the consequences.
“Police are there to protect communities. An act of this nature undermines the authority of the state, Lieutenant-General Jula said.”
A police officer at the scene has called on top cops to deploy more members on night shift.
“During the night it is quiet and there are only between two and four members in the community service centre,” says the cop.
“That is not enough as their lives inside are more in danger than ours working on the outside.”