Police identify slain bakery robbery suspects
The four men who died after being involved in a bloody bakery robbery in which a police officer was also killed have been identified, while a fifth suspect who escaped after the gunfight has been arrested.
Port Elizabeth flying squad member Constable Dwane Kemp, 31, and four robbers were killed during the fight inside the Le Bon bakery in Central on Monday last week.
And in a poignant interview on Monday, Kemp’s heartbroken widow Candice – who is pregnant – said she would never want their unborn son to become a policeman.
Police have identified the dead suspects as Pumlani Dladla, 27, of New Brighton, Mandise Jizeli, 36, of Zwide, Phillip Mphumezi, 33, also from Zwide, and Thandolwethu Mkatali, 28, of Missionvale.
According to officials, all four were unemployed.
The Hawks said the fifth suspect had been arrested early on Sunday.
The arrest came less than 24 hours after Kemp’s funeral at the NG Kerk Hoogland in Charlo.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said the arrest came after a sixday manhunt.
CCTV footage of the shootout is also believed to have been handed over to detectives.
Mulaudzi said the 24-yearold man was arrested by the Hawks’ serious organised crime investigation unit while hiding at his parents’ house in Algoa Park.
Mulaudzi said he would be charged with the murder of his four accomplices as well as that of Kemp. He is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.
Kemp was killed after responding to an armed robbery at Le Bon bakery at about 8.45am.
A gunfight erupted inside the store.
Kemp’s 28-year-old partner, Constable Musa Hans, continued to shoot and escaped physically unharmed.
Police minister Bheki Cele, who attended Kemp’s funeral, urged police members to use their “tools” when defending themselves.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has also taken over the policerelated shooting case as per standard procedure.
Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said: “It is alleged that the robbery suspects first fired at the police member who later died in hospital.
“The other policeman fired shots and there was crossfire.”
The police will investigate the criminal probe of murder and robbery while Ipid only looks into the police-related shooting.
Hawks boss Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya called the arrest a significant breakthrough in dealing with those bent on killing police officials.
Lebeya said that due to the nature of the murder, the suspect – if found guilty – would attract a minimum sentence of life imprisonment.
Eastern Cape acting director of public prosecutions advocate Indra Goberdan said it would be transferring the case to the Port Elizabeth High Court once the investigation was complete.
Goberdan said her prosecutors were working with detectives to ensure that the case was watertight.
Speaking candidly at a Cape Road eatery on Monday, Kemp’s 27-year-old widow was emphatic about the future career of her unborn son, whom the couple had decided to name Coltyn. She expects to give birth on May 6.
“No, I would not like him to become a policeman. I could never imagine him coming to harm or having to bury him one day,” she said.
She said, however, that she would have to deal with it if it was his choice of career.
“And that is only if he is as passionate and fearless as his father was,” she said, revealing that these were among the qualities she had admired most about her late husband.
“I come out of an abusive relationship and Dwane made me feel safe.
“I knew wherever I was, he would be there to protect me,” Candice, who is a sales consultant for a prominent health and fitness club, said.
Describing in detail the events that occurred after being notified of Kemp’s shooting, Candice related how her hopes were raised and then dashed after first being informed that her husband would survive the shooting.
“He was shot twice in the abdomen, including being shot in the stomach. One of the bullets hit a main artery.
“He was given three pints of blood, but his heart could not cope and get the blood through. In the end, he died of internal bleeding,” she said.
She said the projectiles had struck her husband below his bullet-proof jacket – which she criticised for being too short.
“When I first saw him in hospital, I saw that he was still breathing. He was still lying there in his uniform and I was told that he would survive.
“I was at home, getting ready to go back to the hospital [after going home to pack items for the hospital] when the doctor called and informed me that he had died.
“I just collapsed,” she said, pointing out the severe bruising on her arm from her fall.
Candice also lamented the fact that she had not had the opportunity to have any last words with her husband before he died.
“The last year, everything started to finally come together for us, everything suddenly started improving, we made headway on our debt, our careers were improving vastly and so many other things were suddenly coming right. Then this happened,” she said.
While praising the “massive support” she had received from the SAPS and her husband’s colleagues, as well as the honour she felt through the support shown by the police minister, Candice had harsh words for the prison system, which she believes treats prisoners too well, and for the absence of the death penalty in SA.
She criticised the unacceptably high crime rate in the country, saying that she and her slain husband had been in the process of applying for emigration to Canada.