The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza has strongly condemned the murder of Warrant Officer Colbern Mashego, a Hawks member, who was gunned down on Sunday.

Warrant Officer Mashego was brutally murdered after he was following information of a drug deal allegedly perpetrated by police officers based at OR Tambo International Airport.  The circumstances of the incident is now in the hands of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

Lieutenant General Ntlemeza said it was clear that Mashego lost his life due to his occupation and indicative of the risks and sacrifices our law enforcement officers face while serving and protecting this nation.  He noted that it is particularly sad for his family and associates to lose him as we approach the festive season.

“The Hawks will not be deterred by this attack on its membership and will maintain their increased presence throughout the season and beyond. This incident is a sober reminder that notwithstanding encouraging reductions in crime, there is still much to be done to achieve a safe and secure environment.

“I am going to request an urgent meeting with the Acting National Commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane with a view to look into the deployments at OR Tambo Airport and other ports of entries in the republic.  There is a serious need for a serious shake up at all this ports of entries and the deliberations will include all other law enforcement agencies in those locations,” Ntlemeza said.

Lieutenant General Ntlemeza said even as the SAPS family is mourning the loss of another member under such tragic circumstances, which seems to be a blatant attack on its members.  He has implored officers to remain resolute in the performance of their duties, be vigilant, take swift decisive action to protect themselves, family, colleagues and members of the public within the remit of the law.

Ntlemeza has expressed his deepest condolences to Constable Mashigo widow and children, his community, and his colleagues in the Hawks.