Shooter killed by police during Limpopo hostage situation in which woman shot dead

IPID is investigating shooting by police officers

Police spent about three hours of attempting to negotiate with the hostage taker.
Police spent about three hours of attempting to negotiate with the hostage taker.
Image: 123RF/Paul Fleet

A 50-year-old woman was shot dead and her 16-year-old daughter injured during a hostage drama at a Limpopo home on Sunday.

Police spokesperson Brig Motlafela Mojapelo said the mother held hostage by a 33-year-old man, Joel Masila, was shot dead and her daughter was shot and injured at Ga-Matsea village in Mankweng outside Polokwane on Sunday afternoon.

"Masila was in turn shot dead by the police. The police were called to a hostage situation at about 3pm and on arrival, shots were allegedly fired from within the house. In the process, the injured 16-year-old girl managed to escape through the window and was taken to hospital," he said.

"It is believed that the hostage taker shot and killed the woman and then hid in the bathroom. He seemingly continued firing at the police when they penetrated the house, damaging one of their shields," said Mojapelo.

Mojapelo said SAPS hostage negotiators and members of the tactical response team (TRT) arrived at the scene and immediately took up positions to deal with the matter.

"Every time an attempt was made by the police to approach the house, shots were allegedly fired at them from the house. After about three hours of attempting to negotiate with the hostage taker, a decision was then taken to penetrate the house," he said.

Police said while they were attending to the hostage situation, family members of 25-year-old Sarah Mokwela approached the police and raised a concern on her whereabouts.

"They alleged that Masila took Mokwela from her house at around 7am on Sunday. They were allegedly seen going into the bushes next to the nearby mountains," said Mojapelo.

He said community members then allegedly heard gunshots in the area.

"The suspect then reportedly proceeded to the other scene whereby he was shot dead by the police after a hostage situation.

"A search operation was conducted in the bushes by the police and community members and deceased Sarah was found with a gunshot wound to the head," said Mojapelo.

Police said preliminary investigations revealed that Masila and the injured 16-year-old girl are relatives but what led to the killings is still unclear at this stage.

Mojapelo also said investigations revealed that the firearm used in the hostage drama belonged to Masila's brother who is a member of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD).

Mojapelo said they have opened two cases of murder, six counts of attempted murder and unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition


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