Police minister, Bheki Cele at the memorial service of the late Insp Dladla and Insp Mhlanga.
Speaking at the memorial service of the late Insp Zephania Dladla and Insp Nomasonto Mhlanga, who were gunned down while on councillor protection duty, police minister, Bheki Cele revealed that the four suspects were allegedly linked to a family massacre in Inanda.
“I am told that these criminals shot the cops and took a gun. I was informed that after the heinous killings, they proceeding to shoot other individuals, celebrating the fact that they had killed cops. We are establishing that, but from what we hear, they killed a family of four,” Cele stated at the memorial service which was held at the Durban City Hall.
Insp Nomasonto Mhlanga.
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He further said that Dladla and Mhlanga were simply doing their work when criminals as young as 18 years of age attacked them.
“This is a waste of life,” Cele exclaimed.
He went on to thank the police for their dedicated and swift arrests.
Bereaved families, colleagues and dignitaries sang and shared their fondest memories of the victims.
“Sonto and I met in May 1, 2007 during training and we have grown inseparable since then. She was practically my own sister. Discovering that we come from the same homeland made us one. Sonto was truthful and very straightforward,” a devastated Hlobisile Madonsela said.
“While on my way to the crime scene, one of my colleagues called me and told me not go there. He made up some hazy reason why I should not go. I then received a second call from my colleague where they uttered ‘Sonto’,” she sobbed.
Madonsela said she is glad she was not driving at the time when she received the devastating news.
“It was at the crime scene that all the memories we had ever shared played in my mind. The weeks leading to her passing, Sonto adopted a motto of saying ‘My happiness comes first’,” Madonsela concluded.
Insp Dladla, popularly known as ‘Baba Dladla’ was described as a family man, who was also very dedicated in his line of work. He was a loving husband to his wife, two children, and grandchildren.
Insp Zephania Dladla.
“He was family man, a father with children, brothers and a family. He was like a brother to me. He guided and took care of me,” Reuben Matsimbi, Dladla’s brother-in-law said.
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Both Dladla and Mhlanga were seasoned Metro Police officers thriving in their careers.
Dladla was close to retirement after 22 years of service, while Mhlanga had just been promoted to be acting captain at the King Shaka International Airport.
The victims were laid to rest over the weekend.
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