The North West Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane and the MEC for Community Safety and Transport Management, Dr Mpho Motlhabane have expressed condolences to the families of three Provincial Tracking Team members who died in a motor vehicle accident in the early hours of Tuesday, 27 February 2018 near eNgcobo, Eastern Cape. They also wished a speedy recovery to the fourth member who was seriously injured.
Contrary to earlier reports, a statement from North West SAPS Provincial spokesperson Brigadier Sabata Mokgwabone explained that the members were neither in the Eastern Cape to attend a memorial service nor as part of a team assigned to investigate the incident that occurred in eNgcobo last week.
“They departed from Potchefstroom to Mthatha, Eastern Cape in the afternoon on Monday, 26 February 2018 to trace a suspect on two cases of murder, one of rape and another one of Assault with intent to do Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) that were reported in the province between 2008 and 2011,” Mokgwabone said.
“According to information available at this stage, reports suggest that the members’ vehicle collided with a stray animal along R61 road near Xholosini village, Engcobo,” Mokgwabone said. “Three members died instantly while the fourth one was seriously injured and transported to hospital for medical attention.”
A case docket of culpable homicide has been opened for investigation.
The accident occurred on the eve of the memorial service for the five policemen shot and killed last week, and near the eNgcobo site of the attack.
* Story updated 11.30am on Tuesday 27 February to correct former version which said the officers who died after their vehicle collided with a stray horse had been on their way to the eNgcobo memorial service and were connected with that investigation.