Flying Squad cop killed in hail of bullets

Durban – A member of the SA Police Services’ Flying Squad was killed on Friday in Mpumalanga en route to visit his family in Hammarsdale.

Sergeant Welcome Sithole, 41, died in a hail of bullets after he was shot at on Sibisi Road.

National police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo said Sithole was off duty at the time and was on his way to see his family when an unknown group of men started firing at his car.

He said Sithole lost control of the car and drove it down an embankment. “As he was getting out of the damaged vehicle, his attackers approached and continued firing at him,” he said.

Naidoo said Sithole did not have a state firearm on him and his attackers did not take anything. He said police still did not know what the motive behind the attack was.

Sithole’s death is the latest murder of a police officer. According to a police statement in November, 42 officers were killed between April and November 2018 – 18 officers were killed while on duty, while 24 were killed off duty.

Earlier this month, two police officers were attacked in uMlazi. The police were patrolling the area when they were attacked by suspects who had previously been firing shots into the air. One of the suspects was injured in the leg and another was arrested at a nearby house.

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