PRETORIA � A man suspected of gunning down a police officer during an armed robbery a week ago in Port Elizabeth was arrested on Sunday after a six day search.
The 24 year old suspect was detained by the Hawks’ Serious organised Investigation unit at his parent’s residence in Algoa Park, Port Elizabeth.
He is accused of being part of group that fatally wounded Constable Dwane Kemp (31) following a shoot � out between police and armed robbers.
Members of the Port Elizabeth Flying Squad received a complaint of an armed robbery in progress at a bakery on the corner of Parliament and Rose Street.
When the police arrived at the scene shots were fired and officers returned fire. Four of the suspects, who were in the shop, were shot dead during the exchange of gunfire. The fifth suspect managed to escape.
Three firearms were recovered at the scene and have been sent to ballistics for testing and to establish if they have been used in other similar crimes. Constable Kemp died in hospital, just hours after the deadly confrontation and a manhunt was launched for the outstanding suspect which led to his eventual arrest on Sunday morning.
The suspect is expected to appear at the New Law Court in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday and will face five charges of murder, attempted murder, business robbery, possession of firearm without a licence and possession of ammunition without a licence to possess a firearm capable of discharging such ammunition.
The National Head of the Hawks, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya has hailed the success as a significant breakthrough in dealing with those who are bent to killing law enforcement officials in the country.
The suspect has committed murder on a law enforcement official, which falls under Schedule 6 that has impact on bail application. Over and above, the suspect together with deceased accomplices, are to be charged with murder and robbery that falls under Part I of Schedule 2, read with section 51(1) of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997 which attract a minimum sentence of life imprisonment.
The Minister of Police Bheki Cele made a call on Saturday at the funeral of the late Constable Kemp that he wanted the fifth suspect arrested.
The long arm of the law knows no boundaries no matter where you hide we will find you. A job well done to our men and women in blue and the Hawks on this swift action in ensuring that the perpetrator is brought to book, within the 72 hour activation plan, said Minister Cele.
Minister Cele further made a call to all police officers to use tools given to them responsibly and decisively when executing their duties and do so within the ambit of the law.
Source: South African Police Service