2008-02-10 : Unarmed cops hide in dam

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2008-02-10 : Unarmed cops hide in dam

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2008-03-07 08:06

http://www.news24.com/News24/South_Afri ... 29,00.html

Unarmed cops hide in dam
10/02/2008 23:18 - (SA)

Buks Viljoen, Beeld

Standerton - Three policemen. One service pistol. No clip for the firearm ... and no bullets!

That's how police had to patrol the town on Friday night.

Their worst fears were realised in the early hours of Saturday morning when robbers opened fire on them.

To top it all, student constable Thabisa Lepho, 35, may lose all the fingers on his right hand after being hit in the hand during the shooting.

Police spokesperson Abie Khoabane said that about 03:00 on Saturday the officers were in pursuit of a suspicious vehicle on the road between Standerton in Mpumalanga and Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal.

A Volkswagen Jetta passed them from behind and fired at the police vehicle with its three occupants. Lepho, who was driving, was hit in the hand. He lost control of the vehicle and it overturned.

Reserve constable Alfred Yende, 27, and Sergeant Lucky Dube, 36, were also in the vehicle.

Police bakkie hit six times

Khoabane said: "The suspects in the Jetta turned back and stopped near the police bakkie. They climbed out and walked towards it."

The three policemen crawled out of the wrecked vehicle and hid in the shallow waters of a nearby dam. Later, they walked back to the police station to raise the alarm.

Lepho was admitted to the local hospital for an emergency operation on his right hand.

It was discovered later that the police vehicle had been hit six times by bullets.

"It's often the case that we have to work without firearms" said a police officer (who asked to remain anonymous) from the Standerton police station.
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