The hunt for the suspects responsible for an attack on Limpopo South African Police Service (SAPS) officers at Extension 44 on the outskirts of Polokwane on Saturday afternoon is continuing, the SAPS in the province said.
“This after some community members started throwing stones and other objects at the police members following the arrests of four undocumented foreign nationals in the area,” Limpopo SAPS spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo said in a statement on Sunday.
The officers were carrying out Safer Festive Season operations at Greenside Extension 44 in the Westenburg policing area at about 5.05 pm when they arrested four foreign nationals for being in the country illegally, Mojapelo said.
During the arrest, one of them allegedly took out a knife and advanced towards the police members, allegedly threatening to stab them, “but was shot and [wounded]”.
“The brother of the injured foreign national allegedly incited community members in the area to attack the police who then started throwing stones and, in the process, injuring three police members and damaging their three vehicles. Community members then released all arrested illegal immigrants from police vehicles. The injured members were taken for medical treatment and were later discharged.”
Subsequent police investigations led to the re-arrest of the wounded foreign national, aged 32, after he was traced and found admitted at the local hospital. He is under police guard, Mojapelo said.
Limpopo acting police commissioner Maj-Gen Jan Scheepers strongly condemned the incident.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the conduct that was manifested by the said community members. The police will not tolerate any form of lawlessness and any attack on them will be responded to appropriately,” Scheepers said.
Police had opened cases of illegal immigration, assault on police officers, escaping from custody, malicious damage to property, and incitement to commit crime. Investigations were continuing.
“The hunt for the suspects is continuing and anyone with information is requested to contact Lieutenant Colonel Maimele Pilusa on 082-728-9825, Crime stop on 086-00-10111, or by using the MySAPS app,” Mojapelo said.
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