Man killed, policeman seriously injured in domestic violence call-out

When police went to investigate an allegation of domestic violence, things went horribly wrong.

 Photo: Supplied.

A man (21) was killed and a police sergeant stationed in Viljoenskroon in the Free State was seriously injured on Wednesday when police responded to a father’s plea for help.

Captain Malebo Khosana, police spokesperson for the Fezile Dabi district, says that Sergeant Frans Pieterse and Constable Paseka Maseko went to a home in Rammulotsi in Evans Park, Viljoenskroon, at around 08:00. Police had been asked to intervene after the deceased, Thapelo Aaron Njato, had apparently terrorised his parents throughout the night.

Khosana says the father arrived at the police station in the early hours of the morning to complain about his son’s ‘bad, violent behaviour’. The son had apparently wielded a knife and threatened them.

Shortly after arriving at the home, the officers were attacked by a knife-wielding man – later identified as Njato. Pieterse was stabbed in the neck and shoulder.

Members of the crime prevention unit were summoned and on arrival, found Pieterse, now with stab wounds to the abdomen, locked in a bloody battle with the suspect.

Khosana says the suspect also attacked other police members on the scene.

Eventually, says Khosana, live ammunition was used after pepper spray and warning shots failed to subdue the suspect.

Wounded in his right arm and stomach, Njato died on the scene. Pieterse was rushed to a hospital in Kroonstad in a critical but stable condition.

Khosana says police are investigating charges of murder and attempted murder. As is standard, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate is also investigating.

Acting District Commissioner Brigadier Mapulane Mbeloane has appealed to communities to help ensure the safety of police officers.

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