Dead police officer honoured
WREATHS were laid yesterday at the spot where metro police officer Thembeleni Khuboni was gunned down on Monday. Later a memorial service was held at the Johannesburg Metro Police Department headquarters.
Khuboni, 45, was on his way to catch a taxi to work on Monday morning just after 5am when two unknown assailants shot him in Pimville, Soweto. The killers fled the scene with his service pistol and bag containing his uniform and badge.
In a ceremony lead by the JMPD near Khuboni's home in Pimville, Soweto, Khuboni's family, community, colleagues and government officials planted a cross as a tribute to the fallen police officer.
Police chaplain Dr PN Ngwenya said in prayer : "We plant this cross in memory of our brother who was murdered by community members. Such incidents will not happen again on this road. No more bad things and accidents will happen here."
Khuboni's second wife, Patricia Ndlebendle, who last saw him alive the morning of the murder, was not present at the ceremony. Family members wept as the JMPD choir sang.
JMPD chief Chris Ngcobo said they took full responsibility for the tragedy and urged the community not to take the law into their own hands. "There are investigators doing a good job, who are patient and tactical. People handling such incidents should use their minds, not their hearts."
Johannesburg MMC for safety Matshidiso Mfikoe promised that the killers would be apprehended.
"As the police, we will turn all stones and commit our minds to find them," Mfikoe said.
She appealed to witnesses to come forward with any information.
"Someone must have seen something. Please come out with the information and stop the rumours that are causing confusion. Let the law take it's cause," she said.
She added that the police "protect us but they also live among us, so the community should also protect them by assisting with information".
Mfikoe advised the culprits to hand themselves over.
Khuboni's brother andfamily spokesman Vuyani Khuboni said: "We are grieving, this is hard for all of us. Funeral preparations are under way, but it's bad."
Khuboni will be buried at Kwa-James village in KwaZulu-Natal on Saturday.