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Police launch manhunt for EC cop killers

It is alleged Xola Sowambi was on his way to work on Saturday morning but never reported for duty.

A police officer looks on into the crowd at the commemoration ceremony at the Union Buildings in Pretoria for the almost 60 police officers killed since the start of 2015. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - This weekend, as President Jacob Zuma spoke at the annual South African Police Service's national commemoration day at the Union Buildings, Sergeant Xola Sowambi was killed.

Police are now looking for two suspects linked to the killing of one of their own in the Eastern Cape.

They sent out a search party when he didn't report for duty on Saturday morning.

It is alleged Sowambi was on his way to work on Saturday morning but never reported for duty.

His body was discovered on Sunday morning dressed in police uniform in a field next to the R67 Road between Fort Beaufort and Seymour.

The police's Khaya Tonjeni said, "Two unknown males were seen running away from the vehicle and managed to successfully escape into a nearby forest. The Directory for Priority Crime Investigation in the province is investigating a case of murder."

He adds preliminary investigations point to a possible hijacking of his vehicle, which was found on Saturday evening after it was stopped by the local police.

Yesterday, the president raised serious concerns over the high number of officers who have been killed in the country while protecting the lives of innocent people.

At least 60 police officers have been killed in the past 12 months alone.

Zuma said crime in this country is a harsh reality.

He said a joint intervention between the public and police needs to be adopted if crime is to be addressed effectively in the country.

He has also urged police officers to protect themselves when their lives are in danger, but says this must be done within the confines of the law.

WATCH: The South African Police Services held a commemoration ceremony in Pretoria on Sunday for police officers who died in the past year.