tWO TOP COPS SHOOT IT OUT AT POLICE STATION
Mpumalanga police officers were thunderstruck when two high-ranking officers shot each other dead yesterday morning.
Rapid gunfire shattered the stillness inside the Mhala police station at Thulamahashe, Bushbuckridge.
The shootout led to the deaths of Senior Superintendent Khazamula Freddy Baloyi and Superintendent Boy Alfred Dlamini.
Baloyi was the station commissioner and Dlamini the station's head of investigations.
Oblivious to the bloody drama only minutes earlier, members of the public entered the police station and demanded service from police officers who, still reeling from shock, immediately shut down the station.
A Sowetan team was met with the sight of pools of blood in a corridor of the police station.
Baloyi's motionless body was lying face down next to a desk in an office. He was bleeding profusely. There were two bloodied pistols near his body.
Dlamini was taken to the Thulamahashe clinic and transferred by ambulance to Tintswalo Hospital in Acornhoek - about 30km away- but died two hours later.
No one at the police station seemed to know what had set off the shootout. The two policemen were reportedly alone in an office used by Detective Inspector Cohen Ntlhamu at about 10.30am when they were overhead arguing about "insubordination".
Officers in the detective section and charge office told Sowetan that they then heard several gunshots that "sounded too close".
Inspector Dyke Mathebula, a long-serving policeman at the station, told Sowetan: "Please, we are still too traumatised by this incident. It's just happened now."
Mhala police station spokesman Constable Robert Makhubele said: "We cannot comment at the moment because we are still trying to establish the cause of the shooting as well as who actually shot who. We are waiting for the pathologist to arrive. Now just get out of here."
Superintendent Abie Khoabane confirmed the deaths yesterday.
He said both commanders were found on the floor with bullet wounds to their heads.