Mbeki's close security bodyguard assasinated

Captain Frans Ramashilo, 52, who was attached to the President Protection Unit where he was a close protection officer to President Thabo Mbeki, was shot dead while asleep in his Soshanguve home.

Ramashilo’s wife, whom police declined to name, escaped unharmed.

It is believed that two gunmen armed with handguns broke into Ramashilo’s Block BB home through a window and then made their way to his bedroom.

It was here that they opened fire, shooting him three times before fleeing, leaving his watch, money, wallet, cellphone and jewellery untouched.

They also left Ramashilo’s service pistol which was on his bedside table.

Police on confirmed the attack and said his wife had escaped unharmed.

"She was not hurt at all. It is clear that they just wanted to shoot Ramashilo," said a police officer involved in the investigation.

Rietgat police station spokesperson, Sergeant Lolo Mangena, said they were investigating whether Ramashilo’s murder was an assassination.

"It is definitely one of the possibilities that we are looking at," he said.

National police spokesperson Superintendent Vish Naidoo confirmed that Ramashilo was a close protection officer for Mbeki and had been working in the unit for 13 years.

He said the death was a great loss to the police force, adding that Ramashilo had been in the police service for 30 years.

Ramashilo’s family declined to comment.