Traffic officer killed as robbers target team for guns

Traffic official Sonica Esmeralda Smith, 42, was fatally shot by robbers on Wednesday.
Traffic official Sonica Esmeralda Smith, 42, was fatally shot by robbers on Wednesday.
Image: Eastern Cape transport department

An Eastern Cape traffic official was fatally shot and disarmed in broad daylight on Wednesday, allegedly by four men who attacked a team doing vehicle checkpoints.

Her colleague was also robbed of his firearm.

Police spokesperson Col Priscilla Naidu said three officials were on duty in KwaDwesi, Gqeberha, on Wednesday morning when they were attacked at 10.40am.

“While the male official was standing on the road, one female was busy writing out a summons and the deceased female was seated in the driver’s seat busy with documentation when four males walked towards the (male) traffic official that was standing on the road. They pointed a firearm at him and disarmed him,” she said.

“When the traffic official who was seated in the vehicle attempted to react after seeing what had happened, she was shot in her chest. Her firearm was also taken.

“The suspects ran off on foot.”

The Eastern Cape department of transport identified her as officer Sonica Esmeralda Smith, 42.

She is survived by three children, aged 21, 10 and 7.

Smith had 14 years' experience as a traffic official.

Sarah Baartman district manager Bukiwe Ncipa-Wali said she was a dedicated, committed and hard working traffic officer.

“She had a bubbly personality and was always willing to assist fellow colleagues. As one of the senior officers, she was regarded as a mentor by some of her colleagues. She was an organised person and a good administrator as well.”

A case of murder and robbery aggravated is being investigated by police.


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