An 18-year-old man has been charged with attempted murder after a Metro police constable was shot in Hanover Park last Thursday, January 12.
The shooting unfolded at 9.20am when the 40-year-old constable and his partner, a 41-year-old sergeant, were driving in Athwood Road, Hanover Park, after having received a complaint about a shooting.
According to Lieutenant Lance Goliath, spokesman for Philippi police station, the suspect ran away when the officers approached him in their vehicle. They gave chase and when the suspect opened fire, the officers got out of the car and returned fire. During the shoot-out the 40-year-old constable was wounded in his stomach and left hand and was rushed to Melomed Hospital in Gatesville. He is in a stable condition.
The sergeant was slightly injured on his left hand and was treated on the scene. The windscreen of the car in which the Metro police officers had been travelling, had also been hit by a bullet.
According to Lieutenant Goliath, at 9.45pm on the same evening, the 18-year-old arrived at Philippi police station with his lawyer and handed himself over to the police. He was detained and appeared in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Monday January 16.
JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, said attacks on staff would not be tolerated.
“I commend everyone involved in the search for this suspect who was effectively forced to come forward as a result of sustained pressure. Now we must allow the law to take its course and allow police and the National Prosecuting Authority NPA to finalise the case and secure a conviction,” he said.
Shortly after the incident, police launched an integrated crime prevention operation in order to stabilise the area.
Brigadier Mmagauta Letsoalo, deputy cluster commander of the Mitchell’s Plain police cluster, which includes Athlone, Lansdowne, Philippi, Grassy Park, Steenberg, Strandfontein, Lentegeur, and Mitchell’s Plain police stations, said police would maintain a zero tolerance approach towards criminals. He urged the residents of Hanover Park to come forward with information on crime and the perpetrators thereof. “Police have a reward system whereby good money is being rewarded for positive information supplied to police about crime which results in the successful arrest and prosecution of criminals,” he said.