Officer shot dead ‘loved his job’




African News Agency


FAMILY, friends and police officers gathered at the Life Church in Sea Point yesterday, to honour the memory of Constable Donay Phillips, who died in the line of duty. The officer died from a gunshot wound to the head on Sunday morning after taking a 35-year-old suspect to Somerset hospital for medical attention. He was one of three victims. The late constable’s older brother, Shane Phillips, said in the eulogy: “He was very proud to be a policeman and absolutely loved his job. It was fitting that one would want to say that it was his calling. “He greeted everyone with a warm and affectionate smile and he was very respectful, tackling everything with pride and dedication. Given his passion for sport, I remember how proud he was when he got the opportunity to escort the Springboks to the Cape Town Stadium. I will dearly miss him,” said Phillips Colleague, Sergeant Bongani Mbopa, mentioned how Constable Phillips was always punctual, humble and respectful. “For the little time that I got to know him, he became more than just a partner. He became my friend, because we had such an amazing understanding. “For those who know the work environment, if you have anyone that you work with and have the same level of understanding, it makes the job easy for you. “Even though he was younger than me, I respected him so much. “Anyone that you enjoy working with makes the job easy for you. He made work so easy, because we understood each other on so many levels; because the left hand always knows what the right hand is doing. “I admired the love he had for his family and his fiancée. His eyes would light up when speaking about his fiancée. “One thing he always complained to me about was how (she) would always send long voice notes and even when we would be driving, he would often say he needed to stop the vehicle and respond to the ‘head office’. I appreciate the short time I spent with him,” said Mbopa. Community Safety and Police Oversight MEC Reagen Allen said that an investigation has been launched to look into the matter. “I am deeply concerned about the circumstances surrounding the death of Constable Phillips. We’ve requested an investigation in this because when we have an officer losing his or her life in the line of duty, it is a direct attack on our democracy, because SAPS members offer their lives in order to serve and protect us. “This incident is deeply tragic. I’ve conveyed my condolences to the family, and during this time I hope they find comfort in knowing that Constable Phillips served and left a legacy that will continue to not only live on in the area he grew up, but also in the entire Western Cape. “We have seen every year that we have had a number of SAPS members losing their lives in the line of duty,” said Allen.