A Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) official on Friday said that the murder of Philippi East police Constable Amanda Ladlokova is a tragic example of the dangers women in South Africa face.

“It is very ironic that today is the start of the 16 days of action and our females in the police are being killed,” Sandra Peterson said outside the Athlone Magistrate’s Court where a suspect in Ladlokova’s murder appeared.

According to Petersen, the case shows that violence against women does not only happen at home.

“Remember these officials were attending a complaint of domestic violence. So this is a serious issue that we must address,” said Petersen after the brief appearance of 19-year-old Ashwin Kennedy, one of three people suspected to have been involved in the shooting.

 Petersen and her colleagues had sat in on the case in honour of their colleagues and to support Ladlokova’s grieving family.

The court heard that Ladlokova and her colleague had been attending to a domestic violence complaint in Acacia street in Philippi East on November 22.

A woman came and asked them to help at a similar situation around the corner.

When they arrived at the house after attending to the first complaint, somebody suddenly opened fire on them.

Colleague played dead

The woman who had called them had been standing at the front door but she got such a fright that she ran and hid behind the house.

Ladlokova was shot three times and died. Her colleague was shot in the neck, according to EWN, but played dead while he and Ladlokova’s bodies were searched. Their guns were taken from them.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said the police officer, whose name has not been made public, was in a stable condition.

Two other suspects are still at large.

Popcru Western Cape case manager Pat Raolane commended the police for the swift arrest of the first suspect.

“We must applaud them,” he said.

But the other two need to be found and arrested quickly in case they hurt anybody else, he said.

Kennedy will stay behind bars until he returns to court on December 2 for a bail application.

Police hope the other two suspects will have been located by then.