Arrested man shot in apparent hit

Image: 123RF/ Markus Schnessl

Balaclava-clad gunmen stormed into an Eastern Cape police station‚ holding up officers while they made their way to the holding cells – where they shot and killed one of the occupants.

The incident took place at the Ngangezwe police station in Mthatha shortly after midnight on Sunday.

"It is alleged that four suspects in possession of firearms entered the community service centre just after midnight and held the members on duty at gun point. Two of the suspects proceeded to the holding cells and the members heard several gunshots. The suspects then fled the scene‚" said Colonel Brenda Muridili.

"Upon investigation‚ it was found that a person who was in custody had been fatally shot."

The 38-year-old victim had been arrested on the 29th of July for possession of firearm.

National police commissioner General Khehla John Sitole has given a multidisciplinary team 72 hours to come up with an action plan.

Sitole expressed his concern at a suspect dying while in police custody‚ but said he was confident the attackers would be brought to book.

The gunmen were reportedly armed with two pistols and two rifles‚ and held two police officials at gunpoint. The gunmen ordered the two police officials to lie on the floor before the gunmen bound their hands. The suspects then demanded the police station jail cell and safe keys – which were kept with the police officials in the charge office.

- Additional reporting by Gareth Wilson.

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