Minister slams killing of Koffiefontein policeman
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