Police have arrested two men in connection with the death of a Free State police officer, who was murdered after tracing a truck they suspected of hijacking on Friday.
According to Brig Athlenda Mathe, the pair were apprehended within 24 hours of the murder of 48-year-old Warrant Officer Johannes du Rand, a detective commander at Villiers police station.
“The two suspects are believed to be part of a gang who hijacked a truck along the N3 near Villiers on Friday.”
Mathe said Du Rand, who served the police force for 29 years, had traced the hijacked truck “but was sadly shot and killed by the armed suspects”.
On Saturday, Police National Commission Gen Fannie Masemola led a delegation of senior officers visited Du Rand’s home to express condolences to his grieving family.
Meanwhile, Gauteng police have initiated a manhunt for two suspects after a 41-year-old police sergeant, Leka Maja, was shot dead on Thursday while tracing illegal firearms in Mamelodi.
“Three suspects were fatally wounded and four pistols as well as three rifles were seized,” said Mathe.
Maja worked 14 years with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) in the tactical operations management branch.
Masemola said war has been declared “against criminals who attack and kill police officers”.
“This is a war that has been called by criminals, we cannot come second.
“We cannot co-rule with criminals, communities have put their trust in us and we need to fight back to ensure the safety and security of our communities and police officers.
“We are going to respond accordingly until we win this fight against criminals. The families of these officers are looking up to us to ensure that those that are behind these killings and attacks face the full might of the law,” said Masemola.