A manhunt has been launched for two robbers who were involved in a confused Hillbrow chase on Monday when police mistook a colleague for a robber and shot him dead.
Another two police officers were wounded during the incident in Johannesburg.
Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini on Tuesday said investigations were continuing.
He said the name of the dead policeman would be released later on Tuesday after next of kin had been notified.
The other two officers were still in hospital, both in critical condition.
Police managed to arrest one man after the attempted robbery in Hillbrow on Monday.
The saga started when police officers ran after one of the suspected robbers. Another officer (29), in a police van, also followed him and when he blocked his path he was shot and wounded in the neck.
Two other officers, in civilian clothes, followed the shooter with their weapons drawn, but were confronted by other officers who thought they were fleeing criminals. The two constables were shot.
One officer, aged 31, was shot and killed, and the other, aged 30, was wounded.
The wounded officers were taken to Milpark Hospital. No arrests had been made.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate was investigating.