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Cele vows to nab cop killer

By Canaan Mdletshe | May 28, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE Hawks' investigation into the brutal killing of a Durban policeman, Francis Pillay, will look at all possibilities, including inside the police force.

Pillay, 50, was shot four times by an unknown man outside his home in Lotus Park, Isipingo, south of Durban on Wednesday.

Pillay worked for the police unit dealing with police disciplinary cases.

Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele yesterday flew into the province to meet the bereaved family.

Cele and Provincial Police Commissioner Mamunye Ngobeni visited Pillay's family to pay their respects

A highly emotional Cele said: "I feel numb. Two weeks ago I buried two young policemen who had been killed in one go and today I stand in the yard of one of the most dedicated policemen.

"It looks as if there are people out there targeting the police, but we are not going to retreat," Cele said. "We will die with our boots on."

He said the investigations would look at the matter from all angles.

"It could be internal or external," Cele said. "But whatever the case might be, we will find out."

He said he hoped the gun that killed Pillay was not from the 98 stolen at the Inanda police station where six people, including three police officers, were arrested.

The Pillay family spokesperson, Vernon Pillay, said they were still battling to come to terms with what had happened.

He described Pillay as a most dedicated person, as was shown by his more than 30 years of commitment to the police force.

He said they were grateful that Cele and the provincial commissioner had visited them in their time of grief.

He said Pillay had been shot by a plain clothes civilian.

"He was coming from doing his shopping and stopped to speak to a neighbour. A civilian came by and asked if he was Francis and he said 'who wants to know'. Without saying another word the man drew a firearm, shot him four times and calmly walked away."

Provincial spokesperson Lieutenant- Colonel Vincent Mdunge said no arrest had yet been made.

"We are doing everything in our power to track down the killer." Mdunge said. "We know there were three men who made their escape in a Jetta."

Pillay, who leaves behind two children, will be buried today.


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