Manhunt for alleged police killer, while two appear in the dock for officer’s murder
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Cape Town - The Hawks are hunting for a man, who they believe is behind the murder of a police officer, in August, during an apparent hijacking, while two suspects are expected to appear in court today for the armed robbery in Killarney Gardens on Friday, where one police officer died and another was wounded.
The suspect, Luzuko Eric Yalezo, 36, is wanted by the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) for the murder of Sergeant Sakhumzi Mbucela.
Mbucela, who was stationed at Wynberg Police Station, was stabbed in August and his vehicle was recovered shortly thereafter.
Police also arrested a 27-year-old suspect at the time, who was charged with hijacking, murder, and robbery with aggravating circumstances.
Warrant Officer Bonnie Nxumalo, of the Hawks, said a warrant has been issued for the suspect, who is believed to have killed a witness, aged 36, just a few days ago.
“The Hawks' Serious Organised Crime Investigation is searching for a wanted suspect, Luzuko Eric Yalezo, 36, related to the death of a police officer.
“Yalezo allegedly shot and killed a police officer, Sergeant Sakhumzi Mbucela, in August this year, in Gugulethu. Sergeant Mbucela was stationed at the Wynberg SAPS.
“A warrant for Yalezo’s arrest was issued by the court. He is suspected to have also shot and killed a witness, aged 36, in this matter, a few days ago.
“He is believed to be in the informal settlements, in Barcelona or Europe, in Gugulethu, and in the Lusaka area, at Nyanga.
“Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to contact the investigating officer Sergeant Zaliseka Hlatshaneni on 082 479 6265 or their local police station,” said Nxumalo.
Meanwhile, the Hawks have confirmed the arrest of two suspects, aged 29 and 32, for the death of a police officer, Sergeant Nameto Ignatius Molema, and his colleague who was wounded, during an armed robbery in Killarney Gardens on Friday, November 26.
The case has since been on the radar of the Hawks and their Bellville Crime Intelligence team, who secured the arrests at the weekend.
The Hawks and their Bellville Crime Intelligence team have confirmed that the wounded police officer, who was shot in the leg, is now recovering, while the two suspects wounded during the incident have been placed under police guard in hospital.
The duo, who were arrested, had evaded police on Friday and are expected to appear in the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court today.
Baxolele Matolo and Luyanda Futile made an appearance in court, while the third suspect Gcinkhaya Mbauluka is currently still in hospital.
The Hawks have yet to confirm what happened to the fourth suspect.
Matolo and Futile are back in court on December 6.
Lieutenant Colonel Philani Nkwalase of the Hawks said: “The Hawks' Serious Organised Crime Investigation team in Bellville, with Crime Intelligence and the National Intervention Unit, arrested two suspects on Saturday morning.
“On November 26, 2021, two police officers were greeted with a hail of bullets, from a group of armed men, who exited from a business premises in Milnerton.
“Two sergeants sustained gunshot wounds and were taken to hospital, where Sergeant Molema succumbed to his injuries.
“The other sergeant is recuperating and the two suspects are also in hospital, under police guard, after they were arrested at the scene, following a shootout with police,” said Nkwalase.
Two weeks ago, the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) said that 23 police deaths at the hands of criminals had been recorded, between July 1 and September 30, 2021.