Another policeman has been murdered

This is not the kind of news item you want to wake up to (see Article in the Cape Argus).

In the early hours of this morning (around 4am), Police Inspector Lukas Nel from Cape Town Central Police Station, was on a routine patrol in the Tamboerskloof area, when he was shot and killed.

He and a colleague had spotted a man carrying a black bag walking between Kloof Street and Kloof Nek Road and, suspecting that he might be a burglar, they tried to apprehend him. But the man dropped the bag and started shooting at the policemen, before running away down Park Road.

Inspector Nel was hit in the chest and leg, but managed to return fire, before going down. His killer got away, and is still on the run. The policeman was rushed to the Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital in town (previously the City Park Hospital), but he died on arrival. New Church Street was cordoned off for a couple of hours, while police secured the scene.

My heart so goes out to his family – his wife, his 14-year-old-daughter and two sons, aged four and five. They’re now going to have to deal with life without their husband and their father. He was only 35 years old, for God’s sake!

Man, this sucks.

As I am on the mailing list of the Tamboerskloof Neighbourhood Watch, because I’ve lived there for many years and still have family and friends in the area, I received the following email:

Dear TBKWatch member and all residents of Tamboerskloof & the City Bowl

Today is an extremely sad day – not just for SAPS and TBKWatch and all those involved in crime prevention but for all residents of the City.  As most of you will already know, Inspector Lukas Nel (35) was shot and killed on duty in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday) whilst chasing a suspected burglar on the Tamboerskloof/Gardens boundary. 

Inspector Nel was assigned to Sector 2 (Gardens/Higgovale/Oranjezicht and Vredehoek) and naturally we are deeply affected and saddened by this loss.  He was a much loved and respected member of SAPS with 16 years of exemplary service.  All the folk at SAPS Central are mortified and tears are flowing unashamedly.  He leaves his wife Karen, a 14 year old daughter and two sons aged 4 and 5. 

We at TBKWatch have always sung the praises of the girls and boys in blue, without whom we would never have been able to effect anywhere near the degree of success that we have in such a relatively short period of time and with very few resources.  It goes without saying that we have developed a close relationship with most SAPS personnel – and it is precisely this relationship and a shared appreciation of that intangible ‘human spirit’ so necessary in achieving our common goal that has enabled us to be as effective as we can be. 

Let’s not let this incident diminish our resolve, but instead let us galvinise our energies and strengthen our commitment to making the whole City the kind of place we want our kids to grow old in.

You may have heard the continued news reports and coverage on Cape Talk throughout the day and perhaps already know that we have decided to start a fund for Karen and the children.  As Lukas has effectively given his life in ensuring our safety, and the murderer has left his family without a father and a husband, we implore each one of you to please give generously towards this fund.  It is the very least we can do!

There will be a memorial service shortly and as soon as we have the details for the venue and date and time we will let you know.  It will be great if we can get as many people there in support as possible. 
Kind regards
‘Together, We Can Beat Crime’
Fax: 021 422 0244

A Tamboerskloof Community Initiative in partnership with SAPS and the Community Policing Forum

“Time and again those who profess to be good seem to clearly outnumber those who are evil, yet those who are evil seem to prevail far too often. Seldom is it the numbers that determine the outcome, but whether those who claim to be good men are willing to stand up and fight for what they know to be right.”

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