The Soweto police officer who was shot and killed while arresting an alleged criminal was hailed as a hero during his memorial service which was held at Protea South Community hall in Soweto on Tuesday afternoon.
Constable Nhlamulo Vukeya, who was attached to Moroka police station’s crime prevention unit was shot and killed on Thursday last week.
He was killed while on patrol at Nancefield hostel when a shoot-out between his team and alleged criminals ensued after the team had stopped a suspicious looking vehicle.
The death prompted police Minister General Bheki Cele to visit Vukeya’s family. He promised to attend the funeral at Jerome village in Malamulele, Limpopo.
Speakers at the memorial service described Vukeya as a dedicated and energetic police officer.
His colleague Constable Kalisile Mlondobozi said Vukeya loved his job.
“This man loved his work more than he loved his life. Even when the bullet struck him, he continued to cuff the criminal until he became weak and fell,” she said.
Another colleague Warrant Officer Collen Mabunda said Vukeya was a hero.
“I groomed him. He was energetic and he worked overtime even when we were off. I think we lost a hero. My boy, you have left a big wound in our hearts,” he said.
Moroka police Station Commander Brigadier Balaraman Govindasamy appealed to his officers to remain vigilant when they execute their duties.
“My appeal is for you to put in practice the tactical training you received. The colleagues did everything right but the moment you drop your guard the criminal [use the opportunity]. The deaths can be reduced to zero if we apply the tactics we learned,” he said.
“My colleagues who were on duty, you did nothing wrong. Emulate Vukeya’s passion and do everything by the book,” he said.