policeman killed

AN AWARD-WINNING police officer was shot dead at the weekend when a gang of four hijacked him in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni.

AN AWARD-WINNING police officer was shot dead at the weekend when a gang of four hijacked him in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni.

Inspector Sam Ngobeni, a communications officer attached to the Olifantsfontein police station, was accosted by four hijackers at his cousin's home at the Winnie Mandela informal settlement.

Ngobeni, 46, was preparing to travel to Polokwane in Limpopo to attend a family funeral when he was shot in the stomach, left arm and right thigh.

His distraught wife Sania, 41, said: "He went to pick up bags at his cousin's house. He left the house at about 5pm and promised to be back in less than an hour. I started panicking at 7pm."

The couple has three daughters aged 7,16 and 18.

Police say Ngobeni had just reversed his car at his cousin's house when the hijackers struck and ordered the two to lie down. Ngobeni tried to draw his service pistol but they shot him first. They took the pistol, forced two other family members into the car and drove off. The car was abandoned on the R21 freeway. In 2005, Ngobeni was awarded the Policeman of the Year award and Best Performer in Crime Prevention in 2005 and 2006.

Ngobeni's younger brother Thomas said: "My brother was the family's pillar. He was also dedicated to fighting crime. I hope the killers are arrested soon."

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