Off duty JMPD police woman shot dead by SAPS members in Soweto after son’s reckless driving causes dispute

Joburg Metro Police officer Linda Mthimkhulu was shot dead in a shootout with SAPS officers at her Soweto home, after police tried to arrest her son for alleged reckless and negligent driving. Picture: Facebook

Joburg Metro Police officer Linda Mthimkhulu was shot dead in a shootout with SAPS officers at her Soweto home, after police tried to arrest her son for alleged reckless and negligent driving. Picture: Facebook

Published Apr 7, 2024


An off duty Joburg Metro Police officer who opened fire at a group of uniformed South African Police Service officers was shot dead in Soweto on Saturday night after a dispute over her son’s alleged reckless driving.

It is understood her 27-year-old son had been driving a Toyota Land Cruiser recklessly when he was flagged down by SAPS officers, but did not stop, only stopping at his Dobsonville home.

An argument between the SAPS members and the JMPD officer, Linda Mthimkhulu, is understood to have ensued as the police officers attempted to arrest the son.

This apparently led to Mthimkhulu, an officer for 17 years, fetching her firearm in the house and firing at the officers.

The SAPS officers fired back and fatally wounded Mthimkhulu.

The killing of the metro police officer is now subject of an investigation by the police watchdog, the Independent Police Investigating Directorate (Ipid), as the metro police officer died as a result of police action.

What the police said

Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Mavela Masondo confirmed the incident and said three people were arrested.

Mthimkhulu’s 75-year-old mother, her son and a neighbour, were arrested by police officers.

The pensioner was arrested for common assault and interfering with police,while the son was arrested for reckless and negligent driving, while the friend was arrested for interfering with police while conducting their duties, Masondo confirmed.

Masondo referred IOL News to the Ipid for further comment on the shooting matter.

On Sunday, during a press conference in Pretoria, Police Minister Bheki Cele sent a clear message to police officers:

“Our message is clear, no police officer should die with a gun in their hand”.

Ipid investigating shooting

Ipid spokesperson Phaladi Shuping confirmed they were investigating the incident after it was reported to them on Saturday night.

“It is alleged that the police tried to stop a vehicle that was driving recklessly, but the vehicle did not stop.

“It only stopped at a certain house in Dobsonville and the police approached the driver and wanted to arrest him.

“The mother of the driver, who is a member of JMPD, allegedly came out and had an argument with the police officers. She allegedly went into the house and came out with a firearm, shot at the police officers who shot back, and the JMPD officer was shot and killed,” said Shuping.

JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla said the JMPD was expressing its “deep sadness over the passing of officer Linda Mthimkhulu”, who joined the division in 2007, and said she was off-duty at the time of the incident.

“The matter is currently being investigated by both the SAPS and IPID, and as such, the JMPD can not provide further comments,” he said.

Police officers under siege

Cele said in the past 11 months, 109 police officers had been killed, among them 36 officers had been killed during conducting of their police work, at the hands of armed criminals.

He said the Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation, the Hawks, had arrested 83 suspects in connection with the police killings.

“This Ministry and SAPS management has noted the ongoing public discourse on police takedowns that have resulted in the loss of lives of suspects.

“We have as the Ministry seen the mixed responses from various quarters of society.

“The death of any individual in the country, criminal or not, should never be a cause of celebration. But with some in society doing so, following the take down of the armed gangs in KZN and Mpumalanga this week- speaks volumes.

“However, there is an Ipid that is there to investigate the actions of the police in such cases. We wish to allow those processes to unfold. With that said, the Ministry and SAPS management remains resolute in its support for the men and women in blue who are at the coalface of hardened criminals.

“We call on the police to remain vigilant, protect communities and protect themselves. At all times, act tough on crime,” said Cele.