UPDATE: Hi-Tech security officer killed

BUSHBUCKRIDGE – A 44-year-old reaction officer of CSG Hi-Tech Northern Regions who was shot on duty had died.

This was confirmed by the security company today.

Lowvelder previously reported that the man had been caught in a hail of bullets in the early hours of Wednesday. He had been hospitalised and fought for his life for nearly three days.

According to acting operations manager, Ian DePaiva, criminal elements set traps with the express intent of injuring security staff.

The victim became was one of two reaction personnel targeted by presumably premeditated attacks on in the past week.

At the time of the incident, he was observing a high-risk area in Bushbuckridge when three armed men wearing balaclavas surrounded his car and opened fire. He was hit twice. “One of the bullets lodged in his arm and another in his chest,” DePaiva said.

The officer managed to drive to a nearby filling station, where attendants notified Hi-Tech, who deployed its medical service. “He was rushed to Mapulaneng Hospital where he was stabilised and later transferred to Kiaat Private Hospital,” added DePaiva.

An emergency operation was performed to have the bullet in his chest removed on Wednesday afternoon. “After four hours of surgery, his condition remains critical, as the projectile is still stuck in his chest. He went into surgery again on Thursday.”

Several bullets, mostly identified as 9mm, penetrated the rear and left windows of his vehicle.

Last week a 37-year-old reaction officer escaped unscathed when he walked straight into an ambush in KaBokweni. “People caught in the act of breaking and entering were cutting open the safes of an establishment, which triggered the alarm.

“A reaction officer attended to the scene, after which an unknown number of suspects opened fire on him,” DePaiva said.
Miraculously none of the bullets that penetrated the vehicle hit the officer.

CSG Hi-Tech Lowveld said although the motives for these shootings cannot be confirmed, the attacks are attributed to an increased focus on crime in rural areas such as Bushbuckridge and KaBokweni. “Their intention was clear – they shot to kill. They wanted to take revenge for something,” said DePaiva.

“We have put a contingency plan in place for the protection of our members and the public,” he concluded.
Provincial police spokesman, Sgt Gerald Sedibe confirmed that no arrests have been made and that both cases are being investigated.



Stefan de Villiers

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