Ngcobo, South Africa, Police Station Assault

by Vins
Published: Updated:

Five police officers and one soldier were killed in an unexpected attack at the Ngcobo police station in Umtata, Eastern Cape, in South Africa on February 21st, 2018.  SAPeople reported that in the early hours of the day a group of armed robbers walked into the Ngcobo police station and began to open fire.  Three on-duty officers were instantly shot dead in the community service center and an off-duty soldier was murdered while the suspects fled.

The group of criminals then proceeded to steal a police van and took two more officers with them as hostages.  The two officers were later found six kilometers from the police station, shot dead execution style.  As of March 11, the motives behind this assault are still not clear, but it has been established that the suspects had robbed an ATM that was in close proximity to the police station, ten firearms, and the van at the police station.
But three days after the attack, on February 24th, the police were able to track down the supposed suspects that had committed the attack.  According to SABC News the group was tracked down to a church in Ngcobo where a gunfight ensued, resulting in the deaths of seven suspects and the arrest of ten others.  As the investigation continues, Police Committee Chair Francois Beukman and Police Minister Fikile Mbalula have congratulated the police for their valiant efforts in the arrest of the suspects.
This story in particular has had very little coverage outside of South Africa.  There have been a few small websites that have written up very vague articles about the subject matter (the only corporate one being the BBC), but have failed to include all of the facts about the story.  The article from SAPeople and the follow-up article from SABC News go into much greater detail, giving accurate descriptions as to what actually happened and how the suspects were tracked down and arrested.

Zimkhita Manqinana, “Parly Portfolio Committee on Police Welcomes Ngcobo Arrests,”  SABC, February 24, 2018,

SAPeople, “5 Cops and Soldier Killed in Shocking Attack on Eastern Cape Police Station.”  SAPeople, February 21, 2018,

Student Researcher: Logan Adams (College of Western Idaho)

Faculty Evaluator: Michelle Mahoney (College of Western Idaho)