Min­is­ter slams killing of Koffie­fontein po­lice­man

Saturday Star - - METRO -

PO­LICE Min­is­ter Bheki Cele has con­demned the killing of a po­lice of­fi­cer and the wound­ing of an­other in the Free State town of Koffie­fontein.

“At­tack­ing a mem­ber of the South African Po­lice Ser­vice is an at­tack on the state. Safety of our men and women in blue re­mains high on the agenda of the SAPS and is at the heart of the SAPS’S strate­gic im­per­a­tives to en­sure the safety of our mem­bers. Po­lice mem­bers are a na­tional as­set and they need to be pro­tected by all of us, in­clud­ing mem­bers of the com­mu­nity,” said Cele.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened on Thurs­day evening when po­lice, while out on pa­trol, spot­ted a sus­pect ve­hi­cle on Dassiekop farm. Po­lice re­alised that the ve­hi­cle be­longed to Coen­raad Baden­horst, a neigh­bour­ing farmer who was head­ing to the farm of Paul Nel – a man he had threat­ened in the past.

A war­rant of­fi­cer phoned Nel to tell him that Baden­horst was head­ing to his farm, but while she was talk­ing to him she heard noises and then the phone went dead.

Po­lice then mo­bilised of­fi­cers from the nearby po­lice sta­tion, but when they ar­rived at the farm, they found Nel’s body on the front porch. He had been shot in the head.

Baden­horst then opened fire on the po­lice from bushes near the house.

Con­sta­ble Vuyani March was killed when he was shot in the head. Sergeant Ge­orge Calvert was shot in the face and rushed to Kim­ber­ley Hospi­tal. Po­lice re­turned fire, hit­ting Baden­horst, who died on his way to hospi­tal.

Po­lice spokesper­son Colonel Thandi Mbambo said Baden­horst had threat­ened other farm­ers in the area. “This con­flict ap­peared to be over wa­ter rights,” said Mbambo.

Po­lice are in­ves­ti­gat­ing fur­ther. | Staff Re­porter

CON­STA­BLE Vuyani March

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