A police captain was shot and killed during a business robbery in Maphumulo, KwaZulu-Natal on Friday afternoon, provincial police confirmed.
KZN police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele on Saturday said the incident happened at around 16:10, when an unknown number of suspects entered the local hardware store and robbed the employees of an undisclosed amount of cash.
The killing comes in the same week where five other police officers were killed by gunmen in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape.
Mbhele said the suspects had then proceeded to the nearest supermarket, where they entered using the back entrance.
"Upon entering, suspects saw the police officer, who was off duty at the time. They shot and injured him, then they fled using their getaway vehicle," she said.
Mbhele said the officer, 54, was taken to hospital, but had later died from his wounds.
KZN acting provincial commissioner Major General Bheki Langa condemned the brutal murder of the police officer.
"It is with great sadness to learn about the horrendous acts by criminals who are targeting police officers. Such acts are very barbaric, and we will not rest until we apprehend the perpetrators involved."
"Our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the Captain. A Task Team has been formed to ensure that the suspects are arrested and prosecuted," he said.
Mbhele said a case of murder and business robbery had been opened at Maphumulo police station. No arrests have been made at this stage.