“Where is my father? When is he coming back?” asks the five-year-old concerned little daughter of the late Sandton cop Const Percy Ramalepe at their family home in Mphakani, Limpopo.
“To answer such a question is not easy. One has to digest how to make a five-year-old understand that her father is no more,” Ramalepe’s father Charsco told media on Thursday morning.
The 33-year-old Ramalepe was shot and killed while attending to a domestic violence case in Sandton this month.
The complainant’s husband granted the cops permission to enter the home. Once inside, the accused took out a firearm and shot Percy seemingly without thinking twice.
“It is most disturbing. How can a normal person shoot a police officer?” said Charsco.
“Was shooting the only solution? Such a person does not respect the law, the police, and certainly does not respect people.”
Ramalepe was raised in the village of Mphakani in Giyani. He relocated to Johannesburg in 2009 to become a police officer. The relocation was also to make a better living for his family, his father said.
The late father of three being a “top cop” was always his dream.
“He always loved his job and wanted to go through the ranks of the police and become a top cop,” he said. “He always wanted to serve and protect the community and the vulnerable.”
Charsco said the family was broken.
“How do we pass the stage when you send your son to serve the nation with pride and he comes back a corpse? It’s an extremely tough one – in fact, irreplaceable.”
Ramalepe was the main breadwinner in the family and his family was his top priority.
“If you take a breadwinner away, who is going to feed his children and wife? How are they going to survive now? We are mostly worried about the future of his children and how they are going to cope.”
“He went to the police to uplift his family and by killing him, they put the family in more poverty.”
Charsco said his son loved family reunions, adding that he would “bring the entire family together” during festive times.
“He would bring all the peers together, including his cousins and other family members, to spend festive season [together]. He would throw a party in the yard without any alcohol and just have a braai and share special moments,” he said.
“I will miss that about him. I will miss his protection and his kind heart he had towards the community.”
“All the family, friends, and others wanted to attend his funeral, but due to the lockdown regulations, they couldn’t. It was extremely painful.”
His father expressed his gratitude to Sandton police station, where his son was positioned, for its support.
“I don’t know how to explain my gratitude for them,” he added.