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WC police under siege - Mthethwa

Authorities are concerned following the murder of two more SAPS members.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Institute for Security Studies says historically the Western Cape did not have the highest number of police deaths in the country.

On Monday, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said police officers were largely targeted in the Western Cape and that the provincial government's ongoing criticism of police have opened them up to attacks.

"This province, Western Cape, police are mostly targeted and injured more than any other province."

The police service annual report for the period 2011/2012 shows the Western Cape ranked fourth while Gauteng recorded the highest number of police deaths.

The institute's Gareth Newham says it is possible that the trend changed in the 2012.

"As far back as 1998, on an annual basis, Gauteng typically records three times more killings of police officials than the Western Cape, followed by KwaZulu-Natal, and then the Eastern Cape. Usually, the Western Cape is the fourth highest province when it comes to the number of officials killed in any given year."

Meanwhile, three police officers were killed in the Western Cape over the weekend and another in Mitchell's Plain on Monday night. It's understood two gunmen attacked the officer in his Mitchell's Plain home.

On Sunday night, two police officers were killed in Khayelitsha. The officials were attacked and gunned down in two separate incidents. The exact circumstances surrounding these incidents are still being investigated.

Last week a police officer was killed and another wounded in Nyanga.

On 25 June, 35-year-old sergeant Mthunzi Mbonjwa was killed in Mfuleni. Mbonjwa was off duty at the time of the incident.

Mthethwa has condemned police killings saying police need all the support they can get from society and politicians. He has called on communities to work with the police in fighting crime.

At the same time, four men are appearing in court today in connection with the murder of Johannesburg Central Police Cluster Commander Tirhani Maswanganyi. Maswanganyi's body was found bound and dumped in a field outside Pretoria in June.