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Lone off-duty cops are ‘easy targets’

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Lone off-duty police officers who carry service pistols are easy targets for gangs, Mitchells Plain Community Police Forum chairperson Hanif Loonat said on Thursday.

“A lone policeman is an easy target for criminals on the hunt for guns. In gang infested communities like this one, lawbreakers know who the officers and gun-owners are. And they are sitting ducks,” he said.

“The people responsible for deeds like this don’t come from the sky. They are in our communities and they know everyone, from the crooks to the cops.”

Western Cape police have confirmed that no arrests have yet been made in connection with the murder of off-duty policeman Siyabulela Xayimpi, who was shot and killed in Mandalay on Friday night.

The constable was accosted by four suspects as he left a tavern in Oswell Road at about 21:45.

He lived close to the murder scene.

Xayimpi worked at Elands Bay police station, but had been stationed in Nyanga for special duties.

Provincial police spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said the investigation continues.

Loonat urged witnesses to report to the police anything they may have seen on the night of Xayimpi’s murder.

“Even the seemingly most insignificant details may lead to a breakthrough in the case,” he said.

“We can’t allow our men in blue to be targeted this way. It is a disgrace. Those being gunned out are among the most hardworking and committed members of the force.

“Our good cops are becoming a rare species.” News24

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