Two suspects are in police custody for allegedly killing a police officer and wounding another in Orkney in North West at the weekend.
According to national police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo, on Saturday at approximately 21:00, Sergeants Lydia Tladi, 45, and Lloyd Poonyane, 41, were performing crime-prevention duties as well as attending to complaints in the Vierfontein area.
"They were travelling in a SAPS-branded vehicle when they spotted a Ford Bantam bakkie with two suspicious occupants. They followed the bakkie as far as Orkney," Naidoo said.
The sergeants approached the bakkie on foot after the driver brought it to a halt at a stop sign. The occupants also got out of their vehicle and denied the police the opportunity to search their vehicle. An argument ensued resulting in the suspects allegedly shooting both SAPS members.
"Sergeant Poonyane was killed after he sustained a gunshot wound to his chest and Sergeant Tladi was wounded in her leg.
"The suspects fled taking with them both members' service pistols and ammunition.
On Sunday morning, after being briefed on this attack, National Police Commissioner General Khehla John Sitole ordered that the investigation team should not rest until those responsible are arrested and brought to book.
Arrests within 48 hours
"In less than 48 hours, the team comprising members from the North West Organised Crime Unit, Klerksdorp Trio Crime Unit, national and provincial crime intelligence units as well as a tactical response team, who continued to work tirelessly, tracked the first suspect to a house in Soweto on Sunday night.
"Here a 38-year-old man was arrested and a Ford Bantam fitting the description of the one used on Saturday night as well a 7.65 pistol with three live rounds of ammunition were recovered," Naidoo said.
"Investigations thereafter led the team to Embalenhle in Secunda where they arrested a second suspect aged 25 years. The investigation team recovered three 9mm pistols and over 50 live 9mm rounds as well six cellphones from this suspect. One of the pistols was reported stolen in Cleveland in June 2010. The serial numbers of the other two handguns were erased. All the firearms will be sent for ballistic testing to establish if they were used in the commission of any crimes."
The two suspects are likely to face charges of murder, attempted murder, robbery and possession of property suspected to be stolen. They will appear in the Orkney Magistrate's Court no later than Thursday.
"We continue to appeal to anyone who may have any information on crime to please contact the SAPS Crime Stop number, 086 00 10111, or information may be communicated via MySAPS app. Callers may remain anonymous and all information will be treated with the strictest confidence," Naidoo said.
Sitole has welcomed the arrest of two suspects allegedly responsible for the attack.