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MANZINI – The deceased cop may have been hit by three bullets, but her colleague has been referred to as a hero.

This is what was said about Philani Mntungwa, the male police officer who was driving the police van during the deadly shooting incident which took place in Manzini, where unknown gunmen opened fire and killed the female law enforcer, Zinhle Mavuso, who was occupying the passenger seat. It is said that Mntungwa, who is recovering in hospital, was shot by the unknown gunmen while trying to take a gun from the deceased, with the aim of fighting back.

This is according to some sources who are close to Mntungwa. The incident took place near the Manzini Club traffic circle on Saturday at around 3am. Mavuso died on the spot, while Mntungwa was rushed to hospital with serious injuries.


According to the sources, while the duo were driving towards the city of Manzini, in the early hours of that fateful day, they saw two men walking  near the wall fence of the Manzini Club and heard a loud bang. The source disclosed that the officers first thought that maybe one of the car tyres had burst and as such they slowed down.
Thereafter, the source said the officers saw the two men shooting at them at close range. As previously reported by our sister publication, The Times Sunday, the gunmen fired several gun shots at the car before vanishing.

“The survivor tried to take the gun from Mavuso with the aim of fighting back, but in the process, he was also shot at least twice in the chest. What he did shows that he is a brave officer,” they said. Mavuso, according to the sources, was hit by about three bullets in the chest and one of them was lodged next to her heart and they supposed that it was the one that resulted in her death. Meanwhile, they said it was not clear if the two bullets which hit the survivor in the chest, were still in his body or not, because he was in a critical condition when he was rushed to hospital.
They said according to information that was shared by those who visited him in hospital yesterday, he was recuperating well.

Meanwhile, Chief Police Information and Communications Officer Superintendent Phindile Vilakati said they would not unpack what happened during the incident while the matter was still under investigation.


Worth noting is that this is the second member of the State security organs to be shot dead by unknown gunmen, who are suspected to be linked to the ongoing political tension in the country. This is because last month, a soldier was shot dead by unknown people while at a home cell prayer at his home at Mahlabatsini in Matsapha. He was shot in front of his children and church members.

Again, there are a number of incidents where unknown armed people shot at a police vehicle. One incident happened at KaHlobile in Matsapha, while another one took place at KaKhoza in Manzini. Another one took place at Malkerns in the Manzini Region and last month, two traffic officers starred death in their face when unknown gunmen opened fire on a police caravan at the cooling station for trucks, along the MR3 Highway, just before Malagwane Hill.

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