A police detective, aged 32, was remanded in custody when he appeared before the Carolina Magistrate’s Court charged for killing his spouse and her mother in cold blood.
Sibusiso Mxolisi Hlophe allegedly also shot and injured his spouse’s stepfather after the family members arrived at a spot where they had claimed to have a car breakdown and called for help.
According to Mpumalanga provincial police spokesperson, Colonel Donald Mdhluli, the accused, Sibusiso Mxolisi Hlophe, appeared at the Carolina Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, January 16, 2024.
The case was postponed to Wednesday, and the suspect is expected to make an application for bail and legal representation. In the meantime, the suspect remains in custody.
The horrific and shocking incident occurred in Carolina on Sunday, at around 3.15am. Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney Manamela, the provincial police commissioner, strongly condemned the incident.
The events unfolded when the police officer called the mother of his children to inform her of a vehicle breakdown and requested her assistance in towing his car.
Unbeknownst to the family members, tragedy was about to strike. The partner, her mother, stepfather, and three children set out in her Volkswagen Polo to help.
Upon arrival, the suspect allegedly opened fire, fatally shooting his partner and her mother, and injuring her stepfather, who survived the gunshot wound.
Following the shooting, the detective fled the scene with the three minor children in his partner’s vehicle, leaving his victims bleeding profusely.
However, he reportedly lost control of the vehicle while trying to escape, and it capsized. The suspect and the children were trapped inside the car until the police arrived.
The police arrested the suspect at the accident scene, while paramedics attended to the children. One of the children was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
A firearm was confiscated during the arrest, but it is yet to be determined if it was an official SAPS firearm.
The tragic incident involving domestic violence has prompted the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to conduct its own investigation.
Commissioner Manamela expressed disappointment over the incident and urged members of the police force to seek professional help when experiencing difficulties in their families or relationships, rather than resorting to acts of violence.
She highlighted the various interventions available within the police service to curb such incidents, including the Employee Health and Wellness (EHW) program, which members can easily access.
The commissioner emphasized the importance of preventing such incidents and the traumatic impact they have on families, especially children.