CAPE TOWN, South Africa – A minibus taxi driver has been arrested in connection with the horrific murder of a City of Cape Town traffic officer, the city said on Saturday

The city was shocked and saddened by the death of one of its traffic officers, mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith said in a statement.

On Friday night, 46-year-old traffic officer Deon Sampson died after being run over and dragged along by a minibus taxi during a roadblock operation in Khayelitsha in Cape Town, he said.

“Officer Sampson was part of an integrated operation with SAPS [South African Police Service], and while checking the license disc on a taxi waiting in the queue at approximately [9.45pm], the driver accelerated, ran him over, and dragged him along the road for nearly 200 metres before the body dislodged.

“The rest of the officers on the scene chased after the [minibus taxi], but the driver refused to stop. They had to discharge several rounds [of ammunition] at the vehicle, before the driver was eventually apprehended off Oscar Mpetha Drive. It is alleged that he was under the influence of alcohol,” Smith said.

However, that was no excuse. What happened to Sampson was horrific, and Smith called on the SAPS to expedite this investigation so that justice could be served. The city extended its condolences to Sampson’s wife and his three children, and his extended family, as well as his colleagues in the traffic service.

“It cuts deep when we lose one of our own, but even more when the circumstances are as incomprehensible as what transpired last night [Friday]. The city will provide support and counselling to the family, as well as members of the traffic service. The suspect will appear in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 11 August 2020,” Smith said.