There was anguish and anger at the memorial service for three Cape Flats police officers who were brutally gunned down in just one week.
Constables Amanda Ladlavuka, Masibongwe Nqwabe and Thanduxolo Ndiki were among six police officials who came under attack last week.
At the service at the New Apostolic Church in Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khombinkosi Jula described the murders as a mass killing.
“We had a very tough week. This is a mass killing of our members,” he told the mourners.
“To have three of our members killed in one week is a painful and terrible experience. Something must be done, but what is that something that must be done?
“Our members have not died in vain,” he says.
Deputy National Police Commissioner Fannie Masemola urged cops to be more alert as the “criminals knew what to do”.
“When there are just two members, you find that one is driving and the other is busy on social media,” he says.
‘We call upon the members to stop this. There should be at least three members in the vehicles.”
He says they are also taking steps to protect their own.
“We will give them further training to use their firearms correctly in terms of the law. Every firearm is for you to defend yourself.
“The funeral must be someone else’s (criminals), not our families.”
Last Tuesday Ladlavuka and her partner, who is also a cop, were ambushed while delivering a protection order in Acacia Park, Philippi East.
The mother of three died on the scene while her wounded colleague was rushed to hospital in a serious condition.
Nqwabe, stationed at Athlone, and Ndiki, who was stationed at Delft, were attacked 90 minutes apart in the early hours of Saturday morning.
They were both off duty.
Nqwabe was shot in Bloekombos while dropping a relative when he was attacked by three suspects.
Ndiki was found in a road near his Delft home after he was allegedly hijacked.
He was shot twice and died in hospital hours later.
Days after the murder, police arrested two suspects during an attempted break-in at Ndiki’s home.
The officer’s wife, Sivuyile Mjoni, also a police officer stationed at Khayelitsha, was at home at the time.
Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana says the suspects, aged 29 and 34, will appear at Bellville Magistrates’ facing an attempted housebreaking charge.
Police believe they could be linked to the murder.
The spouses of the slain officers were seated in the front of the packed church surrounded by colleagues.
At one point Constable Ladlavuka’s husband Tobile broke down during the service.
The tearful father was comforted by his wife’s colleagues while holding their three-year-old son Lingomso.
Meanwhile, Ndiki and Nqwabe’s wives sat motionless throughout the service.
Sivuyile, who sat between two senior police officials, was seen smiling as those on the podium shared some light-hearted memories of their slain colleagues.
Lieutenant-General Jula said they will not rest until the killers are arrested.
“We made a breakthrough in at least one of the (murders),” he says.
“We have to be strong. We will hunt down the perpetrators until they are arrested.”