Joburg Metro chief rallies officers to bring slain officer’s attacker to book

While Johannesburg’s Metro police force grieves for their fellow officer, Azwinndini David Ratshikhopa (47), the province has been rocked by the wave of attacks on law enforcement officers in recent weeks.

Ratshikhopa was shot in the head while he tried to stop a hijacking in Booysens, south of Johannesburg, during the early hours of 13 February. He succumbed to his injuries on Valentine’s Day at Milpark Hospital.

At his memorial on 15 February, he was praised by his peers and managers as a hard worker who would always go out of his way to do what needed to be done.

Officer Phumzile Mathe spoke of Ratshikhopa as a dedicated man who loved his family very much.

Gordon Maseko attends his friend and colleague’s memorial service on 15 February.


Officers Gordon Maseko and Phumzile Mathe both spoke of him as a dedicated man who loved his family very much.



Ratshikhopa’s was not the only Metro police officer to lose his life that day – a 50-year-old Ekhuruleni Metro police officer was fatally shot during a robbery in Springs.

Ratshikhopa’s death also marked the third Joburg Metro police officer in the last three weeks. Two female Metro police officers died on duty on Witkoppen Road in Paulshof. They were driven into at a roadblock.

Metro police chief David Tembe says officers should stand together to make an arrest after their fellow officer David Ratshikhopa’s death.

Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said, “The province has been robbed of selfless and dedicated members of our law enforcement agencies. I am totally taken aback by these brazen attacks and disregard of our police officers by these callous criminals.

“Such acts of brutality cannot go unpunished and I am confident that our investigation team will work around the clock to ensure the perpetrators of these crimes are brought to book.”

Gauteng police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Deliwe de Lange, said that one officer is one too many. She said she wants officers to adopt a culture in Gauteng that if an officer is attacked, arrests need to be made and the cases finalised.

Gauteng police commissioner, Lieutenant-General Deliwe de Lange, says one officer’s death while on duty is always one too many.

Officer Azwinndini David Ratshikhopa is praised at his memorial on 15 February as a hard worker who would always go out of his way to do what needed to be done.

Metro police’s chief, David Tembe, said that over 40 officers have been killed in the line of duty since the formation of the Johannesburg Metro Police Department in 2001. He agreed that officers should act after such an incident to bring the perpetrators to book.

Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba also spoke at Ratshikhopa’s memorial to offer his condolences. He said the officer was a fellow soldier in the City’s struggle to secure a safe environment for its families and children.

“It is not a secret that many of our officers carry out their duties in very dangerous circumstances, often up against monsters who care little about innocent lives,” he said.

“What kind of society have we become where those who would enforce our laws and keep our communities safe, are killed in such a manner? What kind of society have we become to tolerate such terrible crimes without so much as an ounce of outrage?”

Mashaba said there is a R100 000 reward for anyone who has information the City can use to arrest the suspected killers.

Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba, Speaker fo Council Vasco Da Gama and MMC for Public Safety Michael Sun, attend the memorial service of officer David Ratshikhopa.

Officers pay homage to their colleague who died while on duty last week.

ALSO READ: CITY NEWS – City holds memorial service for JMPD officers who passed away on duty 

Chantelle Fourie

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