KwaZulu-Natal SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said
police officers from Nkandla SAPS had acted on intelligence about a man who was in unlawful possession of a firearm in Vimbimbobo when the shootout broke out on Wednesday.
“As the police officers approached the suspects’ homestead, they were met by a hail of bullets emanating from the house and a shoot-out ensued,” Naicker said.
“Two police officers were injured in the shootout and were conveyed to hospital for medical attention.”
Constable Happy Sipho Dladla, 36, later died in hospital as a result of the injuries he had sustained, a second officer and a suspect were injured during the shooting.
“One police officer remains in a critical condition in hospital. The suspects stole a pistol from the injured police officers before they fled into the darkness,” Naicker said,
“Various police units, neighbouring police stations and the Hawks worked tirelessly throughout the night to trace the suspects involved in the attack.”
Naicker said police eventually arrested a 34-year-old suspect who is facing charges of murder, attempted murder and robbery after he was found hiding in a neighbouring homestead.
“The firearm that was stolen was found in the suspect’s possession. The suspect, who was also injured during the shootout, was taken to hospital for medical attention where he is under police guard. A second suspect (40) was later arrested after an exhaustive operation and will appear in court soon,” he said.
KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi conveyed his condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Constable Dladla who was killed in the police shootout.
“We are proud of him as he died doing what he loved, protecting his community. We are consoled by the fact that the culprits are behind bars where they belong,” Dladla said.