The Star Early Edition

Shock as cop’s wife finds him dead at work

Head of Alex detectives allegedly shot himself


AWOMAN battling to get hold of her husband got the shock of her life when she went to look for him in his office, only to find him dead.

Alexandra police station’s Lieutenant-Colonel Morné Maritz had a bullet wound to his head, which is believed to have been self-inflicted. His service pistol and the cartridge of the bullet that killed him were also in the office.

He was the head of detectives at the police station.

His wife then ran out to tell his colleagues, who rushed to his office. No one had heard the gun go off.

Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said the weapon and bullet would be sent for ballistic tests.

Dlamini said Maritz’s wife told police that her husband left their home yesterday, saying he was going to work. It was not known when he left his house, but he arrived at the police station just after midnight yesterday.

After hours of trying to get hold of him, his wife left their home around 7.30am yesterday to go to the police station because that is where Maritz had said he was going when he left home.

Dlamini said officers did not suspect foul play at this stage. Since none of the officers at the police station at the time heard the gunshot, it was not known when Maritz died – whether it was immediatel­y after his arrival at the police station or shortly before his wife got into the office to find him dead.

“No one heard anything. We are still investigat­ing,” Dlamini said.

This is the second tragedy at the station in less than seven months, after an off-duty police officer went on a rampage in June, killing five people before being hunted down and later killed by his colleagues.

Two months before going on the shooting spree, Constable Ronnie Masie had been removed from the police station, had his service pistole confiscate­d and was reassigned as a court orderly, after he held his girlfriend hostage at her home in East Bank, Alexandra.

Masie had apparently found her with another man, and in a fit of rage, held the two at gunpoint. He also fired shots into the streets and threatened to kill his colleagues who were called to intervene.

But just before going on his deadly spree, Masie tricked his colleagues at Alexandra police station into giving him another firearm and mowed down four people – his partner, Sowela Anna Nkuna, her uncle, Mathews Mapaya, 39, and neighbour, Stephina Semenya, 52, with the pistol he had obtained under false pretences.

Nkuna earlier had an altercatio­n with Masie at home and had gone to the station to open a case, accompanie­d by Mapaya and Semenya. Masie followed them to the police station, where he shot them.

He also shot Major Thomas Moetlo, 59, who was helping Nkuna to open a case of domestic violence against him.

No one heard anything. We are


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