‘When threatened, police must fight back’

Colleagues of the slain Constable Mzonani Manjo carry him to his final resting place. PHOTO: MATSEKO RAMOTEKOA

“Teachers are given chalk while police officers are given weapons to protect themselves. So when police officers feel threatened, they should not hesitate to fight back and kill if they have to do so. We are not going to allow the criminals to do as they wish.”

These were the harsh words of paralegal Thabo Moikangoa, who spoke on behalf of Popcru at the funeral service of late Constable Mzonani Manjo from Section L in Botshabelo this morning.

Manjo was one of two cops that were killed while on night duty at the Koffiefontein Police Station about two weeks ago. His colleague, Constable Obert Mekoa, was laid to rest in Koffiefontein yesterday. Both received a state funeral.

Moikangoa said the death of the two cops shows that the criminals are out there to fight the police so that they can take control of the streets. He said the reason the police were being target and killed in the line of duty is because they are trained to be friendly in order to assist their fellow community members.

Grieving family members during constable Mzonani Manjo’s funeral at Samson Sefuthi Community Hall in Botshabelo ealier today. PHOTO: MATSEKO RAMOTEKOA

Manjo’s funeral service in the Samson Sefuthi Community Hall earlier today, was attended by members of the community, police officers, as well as local and national police management.

Manjo, who joined the South African Police Service in 2010, was married with three kids. The 32 year old officer was described by most of the speakers as a hard working cop who was passionate about his job.

Free State commissioner, Lieutenant Lebeoana Tsumane, said they will assist the grieving family and give them support during the hard times.

Free State provincial police spokesman Constable Peter Kareli said they have not made any arrest yet, but they are working around the clock to bring the perpetrators to book. – Matseko Ramotekoa