'My brother died a hero': Bheki Cele visits family of slain cop in gangland

The family of Sgt Donovan Prins, killed in the line of duty, were visited by national police minister Bheki Cele on June 26 2019.
The family of Sgt Donovan Prins, killed in the line of duty, were visited by national police minister Bheki Cele on June 26 2019.
Image: Dan Meyer/TimesLIVE

Police minister Bheki Cele visited the home of a policeman who was gunned down while on duty in Cape Town, saying that the community cannot go on living in fear of gangs.

Sgt Donovan Prins was responding to suspected gang violence when he was killed on Monday night. 

The 34-year-old from the crime prevention unit at Steenberg police station was patrolling with his partner in Lavender Hill when they spotted five suspects.

The suspects fled, but when the officers pursued them they opened fire, wounding the sergeant who was driving the vehicle. He was taken to hospital, where he died.

"People are living in fear," said Cele, during a visit to the family to offer his condolences. "The fear in the community cannot go on. Even now, they fear that what we are doing here will reach the ears of the gangs."

Prins's sister told the minister: "I want the man who shot my brother to come forward."

"There's someone out there who did it, who is feeling like a hero. I want justice."

"My brother died a hero."

Cele said he had been meeting with community leaders and members of the crime-ridden community, who reiterated a desire to work with police to find solutions.

"I met with four mothers [from Lavender Hill] who told me that that these gangsters are 'our brothers, they are our children, our husbands'," the minister said. "They told me that 'if we don't work with the SA police service, we are not going to fix the problem'."

Cele announced earlier this week that the recently established anti-gang unit will be elevated to the national office, and other specialised units will be introduced.

"This unit will extend its mandate and deal with other crimes of fear that are terrorising our communities," he said, such as murder, rape, car hijackings, house robberies, house burglaries and cash-in-transit heists.

At the Prins home of mourning, police head of chaplain services Christopher Horn embraced the family and prayed that they would find peace.

"Lord, I want to pray for this family, for their son, husband and brother, that he may find peace," said Horn.

No arrests have been made as yet.


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