police threaten shootout over patrol car

Riot Hlatshwayo

Cowboy mentality was the order of the day at the Mhala police station on Tuesday. Officers were ready to shoot to kill at the slightest provocation.

Hardly seven hours after a wild shooting om Tuesday morning that left two top officers dead at the station in Thulamahashe two other officers threatened to kill each other.

Police inspectors Tepson Khoza and Ralph Mhangana, with their service pistols in hand, threatened to shoot each other at about 5pm.

The two were squabbling over the use of state vehicles, with one accusing the other of using the vehicles for personal errands. The other retorted saying "you also use the vehicles for your own purposes".

"You don't scare me a bit you Khoza because you are still a boy," Mhangana shouted at Khoza.

Khoza apologised, saying he was sorry if he had wronged Mhangana in any way. But suddenly Khoza snapped and started shouting back at Mhangana.

"If you no longer want to live please save me from being the one to take your life," shouted Khoza.

Inspector Meshack Mkansi and a female police captain intervened to calm the situation down but to no avail.

"Guys, please, we just lost our bosses a few hours ago and already you are on each other's case," Mkansi said. "We don't want to lose more lives, so please stop arguing in front of journalists."

About 10 officers were on the scene still trying to come to terms with the death of the station's commissioner, Senior Superintendent Khazamula Freddy Baloyi, 50, and branch commander Superintendent Boy Alfred Dlamini a few hours earlier.

Baloyi and Dlamini died after a dramatic shooting in an office where the two had been having a meeting.

They both had gunshot wounds to the head but what exactly happened was still unknown by yesterday.