Keep guns out of relationship problems, MEC tells cops

Keep state-issued guns out of relationship problems, MEC tells cops

Concerns about gun violence amongst law enforcement officers have been raised in Mpumalanga following the fatal shooting of a traffic officer who was suspected of having an affair with another officer’s wife.Community Safety, Security, and Liaison Vusi Shongwe was reacting to news of the murder of provincial traffic officer Thamsanqa Nkosi, 34.

According to the Hawks, Nkosi was shot dead at the Kwanyoni Lodge along the N4 road, 15km outside of Mbombela, on Saturday.“The provincial traffic official and a lady friend booked in at the lodge and while they were in the chalet, the female’s husband emerged and kicked open the door. There was an altercation as a broken beer bottle was found.

“It is further alleged that the traffic official ran out of the chalet and the husband followed him as he fired shots. The victim was shot twice and succumbed to his injuries. The suspect fled the scene,” said Hawks provincial spokesperson Captain Dineo Sekgotodi.Sekgotodi said three investigation teams from Mbombela, including the Serious Organised Crime Investigation, Visible Policing, and Nelspruit Local Criminal Record Centre, attended the crime scene.

“The teams took an initiative to phone the suspect, who handed himself over to the Nelspruit police. His official firearm, which was used during the commission of the crime, was seized,” she said.Today, the accused, Abednigo Desmond Mbuyane, 38, appeared before the Nelspruit Magistrate Court on a charge of murder.He was not asked to plead and was remanded in custody until Friday. Mbuyane’s wife was not harmed during the incident.

However, Nkosi is not the first Mpumalanga traffic officer to be killed in what appeared to be love-triangles among law enforcement agents. Last month, Bushbuckridge Traffic Police Chief, Judas Chiloane, 60, was shot and killed with his official firearm in his vehicle while in the company of a woman at some roadside bushes near Graskop.Police later arrested two suspects linked to the case.The shootings have not pleased Shongwe, who oversees law enforcement officers in the province.

“MEC Shongwe once more urges members of the security cluster who experience distress to seek professional assistance or bring in families to help resolve disputes, rather than resorting to violence. 

“He says the number of state firearms used to kill other people, even law enforcement officers, is worrying. He insists that officials should stop viewing these firearms as instruments to solve relationships or familial disputes but as tools of the trade to do their work,” said department spokesperson Moeti Mmusi.

Mmusi said it was not the first time that state-issued firearms have been used by law enforcement officers on one another.“There were many cases of killings and suicide committed by some members using the state-issued firearms. The MEC believes that this needs to change and officials should optimally use wellness services available in government departments. The MEC is also sending his heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of the deceased,” said Mmusi.



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