Roads even dangerous for protectors

TONGA – A provincial traffic officer was stabbed when he and two colleagues tried to stop a suspect from threatening taxi passengers, and a young resident from Komatipoort was killed in an accident.

Three officials were busy with their normal duties on the D797 between Tonga and KaMhlushwa on Friday when they were confronted by a violent man.

He had allegedly threatened passengers of a minibus taxi he was travelling in.
The driver spotted the traffic officers on the road, stopped the vehicle, ordered the troublemaker to get off and drove on again.

The man then proceeded to demand taxi fares from the three officials.
When they refused he became extremely agitated, stabbed one of them, and started throwing stones at them. An officer shot the man in the arm to subdue and arrest him.

One of the officers sustained serious injuries and is recovering in a hospital in Mbombela, while the suspect’s wound was treated at Tonga Hospital under police guard.

Read: Traffic officer attacked by angry taxi commuter

He will appear in the Nkomazi Magistrate’s Court in Tonga on charges of assault with the intention to do grievous bodily harm, possession of a dangerous weapon and malicious damage to property as soon as he is physically fit to do so.

Mpumalanga community safety, security and liaison MEC, Mr Pat Ngomane called on law enforcers to be extremely cautious when dealing with dangerous and violent individuals.

“We know your work is unenviable due to its nature. Criminals are out there to pounce not only on our communities, but also on you as our protectors. You should, therefore, not be lax, whether you are on or off duty due to the callousness of criminal elements in our midst. Communities should also report criminals, including those who threaten law enforcers so that such individuals are brought to book,” Ngomane said.

He wished the injured official a speedy recovery and urged law enforcers not to be discouraged, but to work hard for the benefit of the public.

On Thursday tragedy struck a Komatipoort family when a young resident was killed in a head-on collision between a truck and a sedan on the N4 near Malalane.

Jorge Goncalves, a former leader at Komatipoort Akademie and good sportsman, was reportedly heading back from

Mbombela, while the truck was travelling towards Malalane.

Friends put up a cross with messages and Goncalves’ photo where the accident took place as a tribute.

Retha Nel

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