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'WC cops targeted'

WC police commissoner Arno Lamoer says his officers are being targeted more than other provinces.

FILE: Three WC officers were shot and killed in under 24 hours last week. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer says officers in the province appear to be targeted more often than their colleagues elsewhere in the country.

Lamoer says these incidents are worrying.

"Last year I lost 11 police officers in the line of duty. We're already standing at six this year, and it's only June. The question is, when will it stop? It's not as though our officers are not doing what they're supposed to. They do their job."

He says in the latest cop killings, all three officers' service pistols were stolen.

"If you look at the statistics in this province, on average we confiscate about 30 firearms per week. These criminals must get firearms from somewhere and because we're not soft targets, of course they'll kill police officers to get their firearms."

Meanwhile, Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato says an urgent meeting is scheduled between his department, the premier's office and the police's top brass today.

The MEC, Western Cape Premier Helen Zille and the provincial police commissioner are expected to discuss the issue around police murders in the province.

Plato says the problem needs to be addressed.

"We need to get together, to get a plan together to make sure that we do something as a government. But we can't do it alone; we need the support of the SAPS and our stakeholders, to address these concerns and issues."

At the same time, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) has expressed concern by the spate of police killings in the Cape.

The union's Francisco Fields says, "There are nine provinces but no less than 10 people of the police have been killed. We're saying an attack on the police is a direct attack on government."

COPS REMEMBERED

The colleagues of two Nyanga police officers who were shot and killed while on duty say they were brave heroes who put their lives on the line in order to fight crime.

Sergeant Sibongile Ngcawuzele and Constable Monwabisi Khaka were honoured at a memorial service on Tuesday.

They were gunned down while tracking a hijacked vehicle in Nyanga.

A moving tribute was paid to Ngcawuzele and Khaka, whose lives were violently cut short.

Colleagues say the two were dedicated to fighting crime and their deaths have been described as a great loss to the Nyanga community.

A member of the Nyanga police says, "Ngcawuzele was so passionate. He loved the police and he loved working with people. We will always miss Khaka's smile. He was also passionate about his job. They will always be missed by us."

The South African Police Union (Sapu) has demanded 'no mercy' for the alleged perpetrators.

Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the fatal attack.

MFULENI ATTACK

The five suspects arrested in connection with the murder of another Cape Town police officer will remain in custody until their next court appearance.

The four men and a woman appeared in the Blue Downs Magistrates Court on Monday, where the matter was postponed until Monday next week.

Sergeant Theophilus Xolisa Mlindwa was shot dead near Mfuleni.

Three of the accused are charged with the 41-year-old man's murder while two others are accused of being in possession of his firearm and ammunition.

Mlindwa was found dead next to his car along Old Faure Road at 2am last Monday.

He was off duty at the time and the motive for the killing is unclear.

The case has been postponed to give officials time to gather bail information, like checking whether any of the accused have cases pending.

The matter will resume on 14 July.