Kwazulu — Natal Acting Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, MEC Kwazi Mshengu, has tasked police to leave no stone unturned in their search for the assailants who killed two off-duty police officers in execution-style in Taylor's Halt, near Pietermaritzburg.
According to reports, Sergeant Makhosaze Mdlangathi, aged 33 and Sergeant Mfikelwa Mtolo, aged 36, were driving to Mtolo's homestead when they were ambushed by unknown suspects on Sunday night. About 30 pistol and rifle cartridges were found on the scene.
Mdlangathi and Mtolo had multiple gunshot wounds on their bodies and their firearms were not found on the scene. The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage, and no arrests have been made.
Sergeant Mdlangathi was stationed at Plessislaer Police Station and Sergeant Mtolo was stationed at Richmond Police Station.
In a statement on Monday, Mshengu condemned the callous murder of the two police officers and tasked police to launch a manhunt for their killers.
"It is disturbing that our police officers continue to be killed in such a brutal and senseless manner. We condemn the heinous double-murder of Sergeant Mdlangathi and Sergeant Mtolo who were both very young and had a lot to offer the police service," Mshengu said.
He said the murder of the two officers comes days after another police officer was shot and killed, while protecting a gender-based violence (GBV) victim, which clearly demonstrates that "police continue to be targeted".
"As prescribed in the Constitution, police are there to protect, prevent, combat and investigate crime therefore an attack on police is a direct attack on the state and this has serious consequences on law enforcement deployments because the state invests a lot of money in police training and education.
"The threat to the lives of police members will not be tolerated and we urge police to defend themselves by all means necessary should they be under any attack," Mshengu warned.
The MEC also expressed his sincere condolences to the families of the fallen members. He said he was confident that police will speed up the investigation surrounding this heinous killing and leave no stone unturned so that the perpetrators can face the full might of the law.
Police are appealing to anyone who may have information on the whereabouts of the suspects to contact them on the MySAPS APP or on the SAPS Crime Stop number 08600 10111. All information received will be treated with confidentiality.