Cape Town Central police officer Constable Thabo Sigcu, who was shot and killed, allegedly by a Law Enforcement officer in a case of mistaken identity, has been hailed as an “unsung hero in blue”.
Constable Sigcu was apparently apprehending a robbery suspect, while undercover and in civilian clothes, in Heerengracht Street, at about 9pm on Tuesday January 7, when two City Law Enforcement officers intervened.
According to Cape Town police spokesman Captain Ezra October, one of the Law Enforcement officers mistook Constable Sigcu for a criminal and shot him twice before he could identify himself.
The suspect Constable Sigcu had been arresting for drug-possession was also wounded and taken hospital.
“He was working on the Station Deck when he chased down a man for drugs and apprehended him in Heerengracht Street when a scuffle took place,” Captain October said.
The City confirmed a Law Enforcement officer had been involved in a shooting incident, but safety and security manager Richard Bosman referred the CapeTowner to SAPS for further comment, saying they were handling the investigation and “would be best placed to provide comment around the circumstances”.
He added: “The City is cooperating with both SAPS as well as the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).”
The Hawks have taken over the investigation and no arrests have been made.
Constable Sigcu worked at Cape Town Central for five years, first as a shift member and then in the Crime Prevention Unit.
Captain October said he had been a dedicated police officer who had always worn his uniform with pride.
He had captained the SAPS soccer team and had been a Cape Town City FC fan.
His long-time partner and the manager of the SAPS soccer team, Sergeant Mxolisi Thibani, first met Constable Sigcu three years ago when they worked on the shifts.
He said Constable Sigcu had worked in Sector 2, which includes Gardens and Vredehoek, and had been well-known in the community.
“We were put on the shifts together, and he was my first partner. He was very vibrant. One day, I bought him a guava juice and he told me from that day, I am his partner. He was a very enthusiastic police officer and made many arrests.”
Constable Sigcu was then moved to the Crime Prevention Unit.
Sergeant Thibani said Constable Sigcu had already been playing soccer when he had asked him to join the team.
“He said I was his mentor, and he needed my guidance and expertise on the field. When the previous manager left, he encouraged me to take up the position of team manager.”
He recalled how at soccer games Constable Sigcu would grab his shoulders and tell him “we need to score today”.
“That’s the type of person he was – always motivating people and encouraging them.”
Sergeant Thibani said he had spoken to Constable Sigcu on the day of his death.
“I was in Green Point, and he was going to meet me after he did patrols. Twenty minutes later, they called me with the news. I cried when they told me my friend was lying there (in the road).”
Constable Sigcu’s death was a big loss for the police’s Titans Football Club.
“He made us laugh so much on the field. We are going to miss him.”
Constable Sigcu had been kind and had always had a smile on his face, he said.
“He was never angry. He also always sorted out issues professionally and promptly. My son cried too when he heard about his death.”
Constable Sigcu played defender for the Titans and wore the number-12 jersey.
“In honour of him, we decided not to use the number 12 again, and we will sign the jersey and frame it and gift it to his family,” Sergeant Thibani said.
Anthony Rees, of the Gardens Neighbourhood Watch, said
he had worked with Constable Sigcu periodically and he had always responded when asked for help.
“He was always friendly, approachable, and very professional. He followed through and always gave us feedback, which was very refreshing.
“We honestly wish more cops were like him. He is one of those unsung heroes in blue that will be remembered.”
Former Cape Town Central Community Police Forum chairwoman Nicola Jowell said she had met Constable Sicgu when she had led the CPF.
“He was always full of energy and always ready to help with a smile. He wanted to engage with the community.”
He had been a role model for many and a passionate soccer player.
“We’ve lost that energy, and we will miss him in our community. My condolences to his family and also his SAPS family through this difficult time.”
Current CPF chairman Marc Truss described Constable Sicgu as “a good cop and a passionate soccer player”.
A memorial service was held today at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Green Point.