Defend yourselves by any means necessary – that was the message the province’s top cop had for police officers at a memorial service held in Table View last Friday for an officer slain in Dunoon.
Police say Captain Linda Buqa, 54, was shot dead in Dunoon’s Site 5 shanty town on Sunday November 19 by two men who then fled with his service pistol (“Cop killed as violent crime surges in Table View”, Tabletalk, November 22, 2023.
“I am instructing our police members to defend themselves by any means necessary. The guns we give police are to defend themselves, the people of this country and their properties. We can’t have criminals attacking our police in police uniform,” said provincial police commissioner Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile, who attended the ceremony along with Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC Reagan Allen as well as residents, fellow police officers and representatives from the community police forum, security companies and the South African Police Union.
The service was held at Kingsgate Fellowship Church and wreaths were laid at Table View police station.
“A police officer walks the thin line between anarchy and order. I hate the fact that we have gathered here and lay to rest one of our own. Let the criminals be the ones to gather and mourn their own. We will not stop until we find who these criminals are. And we want that gun that they took from Captain Buqa. They have a choice. Either they hand themselves over with that gun or we will find them,” said Lieutenant General Patekile,
According to a leaked police report seen by Tabletalk, Captain Buqa drove into Site 5 in his personal car to get his TV fixed. He was inside the repair shop when a man tried to grab his police-issue firearm. During the ensuing scuffle, a second man entered the shop and shot the officer who was then shot again as he lay on the ground. The two men then ran off with his gun.
His killing came close to two years after another Table View policeman, Sergeant Nameto Molema, was shot and killed while responding to a business robbery in Killarney Gardens on November 26 2021. And that same week, new crime data showed an almost 200% increase in violent crime in the precinct (“Table View honours slain police officer,” December 8, 2021).
In his eulogy, Captain Buqa’s older brother, Mbongeni Buqa said: “As a family, we will keep the memories we had with him dear. I keep thinking about our childhood. I feel honoured that I get to do this tribute. The sad thing is that we had just spoken to him that day so this came as a shock when we got the phone call. I prayed and didn’t want it to be him. However, we didn’t want it to be anyone else either. We can’t wish death on another person.”
Mr Buqa said his brother, who was one of five siblings, had always been the life of the party. Growing up, the brothers played football together for a football team in Butterworth, in the Eastern Cape.
“He was like my twin brother growing up. We did everything together. He was the most humble in our family. Even as a police captain, he would still listen when his family members and older siblings speak to him. He was a father of two daughters and two sons. And I am proud of the man he turned out to be.
“His children had a great father. A good Christian man. We were always afraid that something like this would happen in our family. However, we are comforted by the love and support we are receiving from the police, friends and family.”
Mr Allen said police killings should be considered a crime against the state and those accused of them should be denied bail.
“Police killings leave us deeply saddened, and this should not be happening. We need criminals like this to be brought to book. We need to send a strong message to criminals and would-be criminals. We will not tolerate this. This is an act of pure evil.”