Officers slain during Ngcobo police station attack remembered

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Officers slain during Ngcobo police station attack remembered

Update
Port Elizabeth

Feb 22, 2019A wall of remembrance erected at the centre of the Ngcobo Police Station, with pictures and names of five fallen heroes, who were slain during an attack on this station a year ago, was unveiled on Thursday in memory of the fallen police officers.WO Mbini, Cst Ponco, Cst Mathetha, Cst Ntsheku and Cst Sandlana were hailed as heroes, who laid their lives and paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives when they were shot and died on duty on 21 February 2018.Outlining the purpose of the day, Deputy Provincial Commissioner: Asset Management, Maj Gen Dyantyi said; “We came here to remember and pay respect, mourn and thank the community ever since the attack, your never ending support made our job easy and also played a huge part in consoling the families.”We will continue with services and improved working conditions and safety in Ngcobo and other rural police stations. We want to thank all the families of our fallen heroes.”A moment of silence, in memory of fallen heroes, was observed and flags were flown half-mast as part of paying respect and honour to the five members.Ngcobo Police Station wall of remembrancePolice Minister, Bheki Cele, led a procession to the laying of wreaths after officially opening the wall of remembrance assisted by Eastern Cape MEC for Transport, Safety and Liaison, Ms Weziwe Tikana. Family members and representatives also took time to lay their wreaths at the wall built and sponored by funeral services provider, Avbob.Sergeant Mzonke Joxo, representing the South African Policing Union (SAPU), said, “The swift arrest is a little consolation to those, who lost their loved ones. The justice system is letting us down and after a year, not even one conviction. SAPU would like to use this platform to call the criminal justice system to convict the suspects.””This tragic incident not only shocked the nation and also the world. We welcome the swift arrest after the leadership of Minister Cele.”Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) representative and Eastern Cape Provincial deputy chair, Bongiwe Mchithwa, also thanked SAPS for installation of surveillance cameras and new gate at the station.Mchithwa pleaded with police management to extend these changes to other rural police stations as police officers are working under trying conditions.She also used this opportunity to share her condolences with the affected families.”To the families, condolences and work hard to ensure your children’s dreams dont perish,” she retorted.Delivering her message, MEC Tikana said; “We are meeting here today a few days before Sgt Somtsewu is burried. He was stabbed while on duty.”It is not nice when people, who give hope of safety to the community are murdered by criminals heartlessly.”It has been a year since the attack and Minister Cele is also finishing a year in this ministry. He has taken great strides in the fight against crime and his work is self evident and was also mentioned in the recent SONA by the president.”She added; “To the families condolences and we are taking delight that your children’s oath was served to the end. We want to say as community, let us look at the quality of our moral fibre and general discipline. It’s painstaking to note that from all the suspects arrested not even one is an orphan.”The MEC also warned about illegal shebeens and drug abuse by young people.Bheki Cele calls on police officers to defend themselves, promises a POP unit for NgcoboIn his address, Minister Cele said; “We need a prayer more than ever. As MEC Tikana said, we will be burrying Cst Somtsewu tommorrow, I will be burrying Cst Ngcobo, both died while responding to a call of duty.”We won’t allow criminals to demoralise us with murder and attack. This is not a country of criminals. I agree with POPCRU and SAPU in their appeal to the justice system to charge police criminals with treason.”We must create a system where all those, who murdered police feel the consequences of their actions.”Cele called on the police to arrest all criminals.He also thanked the families of the slain heroes for the ultimate sacrifice made by their children.”These multitudes are a testimony that your children lingers in the community’s memories. Their attendance in large numbers is a recognition of their immeasurable contribution. Police, you have rights, please defend them!”In two weeks time, I burried two members but take comfort in knowing they died defending their rights,” Cele alluded.He recognized the reality of policing in an era of policing in human right environment with its challenges, but stood firm and resolute to say while it is a duty of police is to investigate, protect and enforce the law. Section 49 of Criminal procedure Act empowers police to protect the community and use force to protect themselves and the community from danger.”We have tools of trade we need to utilise legally and decisively. When a criminal and police exchange fire, the police should not be the one withdrawing,”said the minister to much applause.He promised the community that their request for Public Order Police did not fall on deaf ears.”Thank you to Ngcobo community. You requested a POP unit and on 1 March 2019, they will be here with sophisticated vehicles. Ngcobo is high on murder, rape and robbery – and that must come to an end.”Minister Cele also pleaded to parents not to hide their children if they engage in criminal activities and pleaded with the Ngcobo Mayor to scrutinise the licensing of liqour outlets not to allow trade without time limits.”On behalf of all the fallen heroes, we shall do all that is possible to protect the police,” promised Cele.Abathembu tradional leadership wants death penalty re-institutedAlso speaking at the event, Chief Dumisani Mgudlwa, representing the Abathembu Traditional authority, said death penalty should be reinstated as detterent to crime.He also pleaded with local chiefs to oversee the demolition of the Mancoba 7 Angels church premises as they are a bad reminder of an attack on the people.Seven of the Mancoba church members were shot dead in a gun battle as police stormed the church.Five suspects remain in custody in an ongoing trial.Last year, police also launched an operation to erasing graffiti writings on the mountain above the Mancoba 7 Angels Church.Follow more RNEWS articles, subscribe to our YouTube channel and for breaking news LIKE us on Facebook. For news on the Western Cape click here.

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