The Hawks have confirmed that seven suspects, allegedly involved in the Engcobo police attack in the early hours of Wednesday morning, were killed during a shootout with Eastern Cape police on Friday night.
Five policemen from Engcobo Police Station were killed on Wednesday by unknown gunmen who robbed the police station of 10 firearms and fled the scene with a police vehicle they hijacked from two policemen, whom they kidnapped and murdered. The police van was later found deserted in a ditch, off the road a few kilometers from the station.
Hawks spokesperson, Hangwani Mulaudzi says the multi-disciplinary team, tasked to investigate the murders of the five police officers and a retired soldier, worked hard to track the suspects who were hiding in church premises.
Seven suspects were fatally wounded during a gun battle with police. A police officer has been injured and rushed to hospital. About 10 more suspects were arrested. They are linked to the murder of Ngcobo Police and a civilian. #sabcnews #Ngcobo @SABCiindaba pic.twitter.com/bN58OjUfEE
— Zimkhita Manqinana (@ZManqinana) February 24, 2018
Mulaudzi says a gun battle ensued when the suspects were cornered in the church premises.
“We need to give credence to what the team has been doing for the 65 hours that they have been toiling and looking for these suspects. One of our task force members was shot on the leg and he is in hospital.”
“There are more than 10 suspects that have been arrested. We have seen some firearms but the crime scene is being processed by our forensic services. We will be able to get the entire report later this afternoon,” adds Mulaudzi.
The five policeman were identified as Warrant Officer Zuko Mbini, 45, Constable Zuku Ntsheku, 38, Constable Nkosiphendule Pongco, 32, Constable Sibongiseni Sodlana, 32, and Constable Kuhle Metete, 27.
A retired soldier, 58-year-old Freddy Mpandeni was also shot and killed when the suspects fled the station. –Additional reporting by ANA