“I have instructed my members to defend their lives and not to be ‘sitting ducks’ in the face of impending attacks.”

This was the impassioned sentiment of Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA) boss, Prem Balram, after a RUSA officer was ambushed by a ruthless gang, stabbed on his head and left for dead in a revenge attack near Phoenix Industrial Park, on Tuesday evening.

Sipho Mbazini (38), a dad and breadwinner, was off-duty when the brutal attack unfolded, almost costing him his life.

Speaking to The Phoenix Tabloid, Balram said, “The RUSA member was confronted and attacked by a gang of several men at about 5:45pm on Tuesday evening. The armed men forced Mbazini to the ground and dragged him to a nearby canal. They unleashed their wrath on him by stabbing him on his head and then left him for dead before fleeing the scene.

The bloodied RUSA member summoned his strength and dragged himself out of the canal. He struggled and somehow managed to contact the RUSA Operations Centre via a handset radio. Reaction Officers and RUSA Paramedics were dispatched to the scene immediately. Mbanzini was stabilised and transported to hospital. He has since been discharged and he is making a steady recovery.”

“A contingent of RUSA officers took off in search of the suspects but no arrests were made. “This RUSA officer was attacked by a gang whom he has busted twice for housebreaking. Sadly, he was beaten and stabbed for executing his duties in keeping the community safe by apprehending criminal elements. He almost paid with his life for doing his job.

“Scores of RUSA members have been attacked and some killed in the line of duty and whilst off-duty. There were five attacks on officers for this year alone. Bearing in mind the ruthlessness of criminals, I have instructed my members to defend their lives at all costs when threatened with death as they are armed at all times. Whilst on duty, RUSA members are equipped with compulsory security gear for their protection. They are aware of the risks that are an occupational hazard and are often targeted
for exposing crime and criminals in various sectors. However, they are dedicated to protecting the community and tragically, many RUSA members have lost their lives for the safety of others,” said Balram.

He added that RUSA members are investigating the matter and will follow up on all leads that surface.