M4 Durban

Seven people were injured in a crash on M4 Ruth First Highway in Durban. PHOTO: iStock

Off-duty traffic officer GUNNED down while driving with friends

The traffic officer was accosted by armed men on the road who instructed him to stop, but the officer refused.

M4 Durban

Seven people were injured in a crash on M4 Ruth First Highway in Durban. PHOTO: iStock

Police are on the hunt for armed men who gunned down an off-duty traffic officer in Mpumalanga on Friday night.

The traffic officer, identified as Thabo Mashego, was shot by unknown, gun-wielding men near Bushbuckridge, police said.


The officer, 35, was driving his gold VW Polo hatchback which two of his friends. At around 21:00, they were suddenly accosted by two armed men who came out of nowhere alongside the road. This happened at Saselani Trust near Bushbuckridge, said police spokesperson Brigadier Selvy Mohlala.

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“The suspects then ordered the traffic officer to stop. But when he did not, they fired shots at the vehicle, injuring him.”

Brigadier Selvy Mohlala

Mashego subsequently stopped his car. The suspects then surrounded the car and dragged out the traffic officer and his friends.

They then drove away with the traffic officer’s Polo, said Mohlala.

traffic officer
The slain traffic officer is identified as Thabo Mashego, who was shot by unknown suspects.


Motorists along the road assisted the victims and took them to Mapulaneng Hospital. But the injured traffic officer unfortunately died upon arrival. His family eventually identified him, said Mohlala.

“Police at Bushbuckridge opened a case of hijacking with an additional charge of murder and a manhunt was launched for the suspects. Members of the public are urged to come forth with information that may assist in apprehending the perpetrators.”

Mpumalanga police commissioner Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela vehemently condemned the “barbaric act”.

“We cannot allow this senseless killing to continue whereby perpetrators not only take the victims’ belongings but also their lives. Those suspects must be hunted down and be quickly brought to book,” said Manamela.

Meanwhile, Mpumalanga MEC for Community Safety, Security and Liaison Vusi Shongwe expressed shock over the incident. He described it as callous and called on police to go make effort in finding the killers.

“Our police should not rest until the perpetrators are behind bars. We are also appealing to our communities who may have any information regarding the case to come forward and assist the police,” he said.

ALSO READ: Mpumalanga Community safety MEC ‘shocked’ by traffic officer’s killing