Family of slain Ngcobo police officer say they need closure

Twenty-eight-year-old Constable Kuhle Mateta was one of the five police officers killed during the attack on Ngcobo police officers last year.

Religious leaders hold a prayer service for the victims of the Ngcobo Police Station attack. Picture: Bertram Malgas/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The father of a police officer killed during a mass shooting at the Ngcobo police station, said they need closure.

Five men are due back in the Mthatha High Court in April for allegedly executing the murders of five police officers in the community a year ago.

On Thursday, Police Minister Bheki Cele attended a memorial service in honour of the slain policemen at the Ngcobo police station.

Twenty-eight-year-old Constable Kuhle Mateta was one of the five police officers killed during the attack.

His father Bulelani Mateta said the family has learned to cope with Kuhle's passing, but he wants the court case to be finalised so the family can have closure.

"It's taking too long, you know... just because of this processes of our country whereby people will say whether they still need a lawyer and all those processes, otherwise it's too long. It's a year now and it's a pity that in this country there is no death penalty."

Mateta explained the financial difficulty to help raise his three-year-old grandson.

Warrant officer Zuko Mbini and constables Sibongiseni Sandlana, Zuko Ntsheku and Nkosiphendule Pongco are also being honoured at the memorial service.

Cele has again emphasised the right of police to protect themselves when under threat.

He said police officers have the right to defend themselves as long as they act within the bounds of the law.

“These young men who are lying dead here were quietly working doing their job and did not call for any war and somebody declared war on us. When war is declared you don’t ask, you fight and ask questions later.”

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)