The South African Police Service (SAPS) has confirmed the tragic death of one of its senior officers, who was also a lead investigator into the Thabo Bester escape matter. The officer, who was the Provincial Head responsible for Organized Crime in the Free State province, died today in an unclear circumstances that remain the subject of a police investigation.
While unconfirmed reports suggest the officer took his own life. Police said SAPS in-house Employee Health and Wellness experts, including chaplains and psychologists, have been dispatched to provide psychosocial services to the officer’s family and colleagues.
The National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola, expressed his heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of the officer. He described him as a hardworking, loyal, and dedicated detective.
“Over the years, he has proven himself to be a highly skilled detective with a wealth of experience and knowledge in crime detection,” said General Masemola. “His departure leaves a void in the SAPS detective environment.”
Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said the death of the senior officer will undoubtedly have a profound effect on the SAPS and its efforts to address organised crime in the Free State province.
The identity of the deceased officer will be released once all of his family members have been notified. The SAPS has urged anyone with information that could shed light on the officer’s death to come forward and assist with the investigation.