Ipid probes the use of excessive force by police in Ngcobo

Ipid says it's still too early to rule out excessive force in the shootout involving a police task team and suspects in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape.

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula (L) addresses the media at a briefing on the eNgcobo Police Station shooting on Saturday 24 February 2018. Picture: Twitter/@SAPoliceService

JOHANNESBURG - The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) says it's still too early to rule out excessive force in the shootout involving a police task team and suspects in Ngcobo in the Eastern Cape.

The Hawks say the team was met with gunfire when it approached the suspected police killers at what is believed to be a cult on Friday night.

Seven suspects were shot and killed while 10 more were arrested and a member of the police was shot in the leg.

The suspects are believed to be behind Wednesday's shooting of five police officers at the Ngcobo Police Station.

As the Hawks continue their investigation into the Ngcobo Police Station mass murder, Ipid says it is conducting its own investigation.

National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole told community members in Ngcobo yesterday that police had decided to make an example of those who attacked the police station.

Ipid's Moses Dlamini says an investigation is automatically instituted because of police involvement.

“Ipid is investigating the shooting in line with the Ipid Act that probes whenever there is a death as a result of the police.”

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula says the task force did not intend to kill the suspects but that they were given no choice.

ANC CALLS FOR CALM

The ANC in the province has called on the community to remain calm as police continue with their investigation.

Police recovered 10 firearms including rifles, shotguns and pistols.

National police spokesperson Vishnu Naidoo said, “Ten firearms which are believed to have been taken at Ngcobo during the shooting have been recovered.”

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)