Newly appointed Police Minister, Bheki Cele has sent a stern warning to criminals. This comes after the tragic deaths of six Police officers in the line of duty in eNgcobo.

Hundreds of mourners have converged at the eNgcobo Methodist church for the memorial service of the five slain police officers and a retired soldier.

The fallen men are Warrant officer Zuko Mbini, Constable Kuhle Mateta, Constable Sibongiseni Sandlana, Warrant Constable Nkosiphendule Ponco and Constable Zuko Ntsheku. The sixth victim is Freddy Mpandeni, a SA National Defence Force (SANDF) soldier.

Cele says no police should die in this manner, especially when the criminals intentions are to kill, hurt and maim.

He was addressing mourners at the memorial service of the officers, attacked and killed by criminals while on night duty at eNgcobo Police Station last week. “The brazen attacks on the police are coming to an end. No criminals are to act like they are running this country. We will double our efforts going forward, ensuring that we are the ones hunting down criminals not the other way around, and we end this onslaught on the police.”

For their grief stricken families, the pain was too much to bear.

Father of one of the deceased police, Bulelani Mateta, says: “My boy was only two months into this job. Words can’t even begin to describe how we feel. His mother is even worse; I am trying to be strong for her. We lost a son, not a police officer. We are very sad.”

Zebulon Sandlana, a relative of deceased says: “He was the bread winner in the family. This has shattered us; we never expected that he’ll die so soon. We hope that government we’ll do all it takes to bring to book the perpetrators of this crime.”

Cele has vowed to bring the perpetrators of this daring attack to book.

All the six victims of the last Tuesday’s deadly attack will be laid to rest at their respective homes this weekend.