A Gugulethu police officer is recovering in hospital after he and his colleagues were shot by five armed men while escorting paramedics who were responding to a call in NY 147, on Wednesday August 23.
One of the suspects was shot and killed while another was critically injured when the police officers returned fire.
The injured suspect is under police guard in hospital while the other three suspects are at large.
According to provincial police commissioner, Lieutenant General Khombinkosi Jula, the paramedics had received a call from Gugulethu and immediately requested the assistance of the police officers to escort them.
But, he said, when they got to the address to which they had been called, they were shot at immediately and realised the call had been a hoax.
He said the police have an arrangement with the paramedics that they will escort them into dangerous areas, particularly at night.
He said he believed that the suspects had been after the police officers’ firearms.
However, he said, they would not be deterred by such incidents and would continue providing assistance to paramedics.
“The police officer is in a critical state and we hope that he will recover soon. We are glad that the police officers defended themselves. We are working around the clock to apprehend the three remaining suspects,” he said.
Gugulethu police station spokesperson Constable Sindisiwe Ngqele told Vukani that a case of attempted murder had been opened at the station.
Constable Ngqele said the suspect would appear at Athlone Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, Friday September 1.
Emergency Medical and Forensic Pathology Services communications officer, Robert Daniels, said their members had received a call around 10pm about a patient who was allegedly coughing and vomiting.
Mr Daniels said because the area was regarded as a red zone, a police escort was requested.
He said police escorted the crew to the address when the police vehicle was shot at and a police officer critically wounded.
SAPS returned fire, killing one shooter and critically injuring another.
“The injured were transported to nearby medical facilities.The EMS staff members involved were severely traumatised, more so as this was not the first time these specific EMS members lives’ were placed in danger under similar circumstances.
“They have been and will be receiving more trauma counselling,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Police, Bongani Mkhongi, said they would not tolerate police officers coming under attack.
He condemned the attack, saying the community had a role to play in protecting police officers. He also warned the criminals that police officers would not back down.
Gugulethu Community Policing Forum (CPF) chairperson, Sonwabile Magida, said they had had a meeting with the cluster where they had tabled possible measures to be implemented to prevent similar incidents in the future.
At this stage, however, he would not elaborate on what those measures were.