A police officer was shot in the jaw.
Sharon Seretlo/Gallo Images via Getty Images
- A KZN cop was shot in the jaw in a possible poaching incident in Jozini Dam.
- He was on patrol in search of a missing person with other cops when three men shot at them.
- The officer is still in hospital receiving medical attention.
Authorities in KwaZulu-Natal have called on communities to assist in combatting poaching after a police officer was shot in the jaw on Monday.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said officers were on patrol at the Jozini Dam on Monday morning searching for a missing person when they saw three men on the edge of the dam.
“One of the males fired a shot at the police officers and [the] bullet struck a warrant officer in the jaw. He was rushed to hospital for medical attention. The matter is still under investigation. A case of attempted murder was opened for investigation at Ingwavuma [police station].”
The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental (EDTEA) said it was deeply concerned about poaching incidents which were being reported across the province.
“Yesterday [Monday] a report of a possible violent opposition to enforcement was reported. The circumstances around this incident are being investigated and thus information will be released once a full report has been received,” said EDTEA spokesperson Bheki Mbanjwa.
MEC Ravi Pillay called on everyone to work together to protect natural resources, saying:
All of us have a duty to ensure the sustainable use of resources for the benefit of present and future generations.
Pillay said the department would continue to work with law enforcement to curb poaching. He added that, apart from this crime having a detrimental effect on the environment, it also had a negative impact on the tourism sector and on economic development.
“The natural resources that we are endowed with are one of our key selling points as a destination. Some of our unique species are a core attraction to travellers and therefore depleting these resources will have a negative impact on our attractiveness as a tourist destination,” he said.
Pillay said criminal elements and syndicates behind poaching activities, some of which were sophisticated and well financed, should be isolated and reported to law enforcement by communities.
“It is in our best interest to ensure that we protect our natural resources, that is why we need this new united front against poaching syndicates,” he said.