Mpumalanga police officers embroiled in bloody weekend of domestic violence
One Mpumalanga police officer shot himself after a deadly domestic violence dispute while another in the province is behind bars for allegedly assaulting his partner.
The two incidents unfolded in Breyton and Embalanhle respectively at the weekend.
In the Breyton incident, a 45-year-old police sergeant allegedly shot and killed his 35-year-old wife and wounded her two brothers, said Brig Leonard Hlathi.
The officer then allegedly turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.
“The officer, who was stationed at Hendrina SAPS, reportedly got into a heated argument with his wife on Saturday, prompting her to move out. She then asked her brothers to accompany her to fetch her belongings [on Sunday]. However, upon arriving at the house, a scuffle broke out,” Hlathi said.
“The member then allegedly drew his firearm, shot and injured her brothers and then took his wife into the house. He fatally shot her and then turned the gun on himself,” Hlathi said.
Paramedics declared the couple dead at the scene. The brothers were transported to hospital.
The second policeman allegedly assaulted his partner, who is also a SAPS member.
“The 28-year-old female constable was assaulted, allegedly by the father of her child, who is also a constable. This incident took place during the early hours of Saturday morning at Embalanhle while both members were off duty,” Hlathi said.
Police were told she woke up during the early hours of Saturday morning and told the 34-year-old man their child was ill. An argument ensued, leading to the assault.
“Police opened a case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. The suspect was arrested and charged accordingly and his service firearm was seized,” Hlathi said.
Mpumalanga police commissioner Lt-Gen Mondli Zuma said he was disturbed by the incidents and urged members of the force to find other ways to resolve domestic disputes.
“As the police, we have our employee health and wellness unit which members can use whenever they experience any personal issues. Their services are readily available and accessible,” Zuma said.
“We cannot allow a situation where gender-based violence is perpetuated by members within our ranks, especially during this period where there has been a public outcry over such incidents. Members should be there to remedy the situation, not to exacerbate the already unacceptable pressure,” he said.