Cop survives attack

An off-duty public order police officer is lucky to be alive after he was stabbed more than 10 times when three men robbed him of his firearm on Wednesday morning.

Despite his serious injuries, the wounded officer had the presence of mind to radio for help and noted his assailants’ registration plate, leading to their arrest and the recovery of his weapon.

The drama unfolded when Pietermaritzburg public order police Constable Sifiso Sithole (30) was standing hitchhiking at the side of the N3 between Liberty Midlands Mall and Church Street.

Dressed in plainclothes, Sithole was trying to get a lift to his home in Estcourt when a kombi pulled up next to him.

A source, who asked not to be named, said three men had jumped out of the kombi and tried to wrestle Sithole’s state-issued firearm away from him.

It is believed that Sithole fought back and the men then stabbed him multiple times before fleeing in the kombi with Sithole’s firearm.

The source said although Sithole had been stabbed multiple times in his back and torso, he had managed to remember the vehicle registration number and called it in to radio control.

The Pietermaritzburg K9 Unit were alerted and started a search for the kombi.

The source said that Sithole was found lying at the roadside in a pool of blood.

“He tried to speak but you could see he was in a lot of pain.”

Another police source, who asked not to be named, said he was shocked Sithole had been able to remember the attackers’ registration plate and call it in.

“He fought for his life and we thank God that he won,” said the source.

The injured constable was rushed to hospital in a critical but stable condition.

Meanwhile, the Pietermaritzburg K9 Unit traced the vehicle registration number and arrested three men, who were allegedly found covered in Sithole’s blood.

Sithole’s firearm was also recovered.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said the swift response by K9 members led to the arrest of the three men and were detained at Pietermaritzburg police station (Loop Street).

“They will be charged for robbery and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. They will appear in court soon,” said Mbele.