Cops all out in hunt for robber after shootout

Canaan Mdletshe

Members of the Durban organised crime unit in KwaZulu-Natal are on the trail of a fifth suspect who fled during Tuesday's bloody shootout between the police and robbers.

The shootout left four people dead in Durban's city centre.

In the aftermath two police officers - a member of flying squad and a reservist Sergeant Afzal Khan, 36, and a dog unit member Inspector Mbongiseni Albert Maphumulo, 35, - died on the scene.

A third policeman is still in a critical condition in the ICU at an undisclosed hospital.

According to official statistics, six police officers have been killed in KwaZulu-Natal while on duty since the beginning of the year. Four off-duty officers have also been killed.

Truck driver Robert Moshesh was also killed when he was caught in the crossfire between police and suspects. A fourth person, a suspect, was also killed.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Vincent Mdunge said a massive manhunt has been launched to track down the fifth suspect who is still at large.

"We will leave no stone unturned. We will track him down and will use all the resources at our disposal to bring him to book.

"The police will not hesitate to use force to defend themselves when attacked," he said.

Mdunge said Khan was buried on the day of the incident in accordance with the Muslim faith.

Mayhem broke out in Mazeppa Street when five heavily armed suspects entered the business premises at the Import and Export Car Dealership and held the occupants and staff members at gunpoint, demanding cash, cellphones and other valuables.

Mdunge said that a 9mm pistol was recovered from the suspects.

"A case of armed robbery with aggravating circumstances, attempted murder and three counts of murder is pending investigation," he said.