Cele pays tribute to slain policewoman

Captain Michelle Pitout who was buried in Port Shepstone on Tuesday after she was killed during a housebreaking investigation last week had bravely given her life to policing, said police National Commissioner Bheki Cele.

Cele described Pitout as a brave and passionate officer and told mourners at her funeral that she would be paid back by victory over criminals “at any cost”.

Pitout, who was the Gamalakhe station commissioner in KwaZulu-Natal, was with senior officers Detective Constable Grant Phelukhwayo and Inspector Trevor Moodley on December 16 when they raided a house in Tin Town.

She and Phelukhwayo were shot and critically wounded during the raid at the house where investigations into a housebreaking case had led them to.

Moodley escaped harm.
The two wounded officers were taken to hospitals in Durban and Port Shepstone.

Pitout later died while Phelukhwayo remains in a critical condition.

Cele criticised some organisations, academics and the media for talking about the rights of criminals.

“What about the rights of Michelle’s two young daughters? Who is going to worry about their rights today?” he said.

“I know about human rights, I fought, suffered and went to prison for it. But I fought for humans’ rights, not ruthless thugs and criminals that have no respect for other human beings,” Cele said.

“This is enough, I have attended too many funerals and memorial services in my four months as commissioner. This must stop.

“We have lost more than a police officer and a colleague, we have lost a major contributor to the reshaping of our country,” Cele said. - Sapa

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