Killing of cops ‘can never be tolerated’

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) on Tuesday condemned the killing of police officers in the line of duty, saying it undermined the proper functioning of the criminal justice system.

“A proper functioning criminal justice system is one of the key requirements in the protection of human rights and the stability of the country’s democracy,” said commission spokesperson Vincent Moaga.

This year alone, reports indicate an increase in the number of slain officers, with the number standing at 32 dead since January.

Other statistics show that 109 police officers were killed between 2008 and 2009, while 110 were killed between 2009 and 2010.

On Sunday, two police officers — Warrant Officer Gurswin Matthee and Constable Cannon Cloete — were killed while attending to a crime call in Kraaifontein in the Western Cape.

Three days earlier, Captain Sydney Bongani Hlengwa and Constable Zamikhaya Patrick Hlangulela from Creighton in Durban were killed during a raid.

Moaga urged community members with any information that could assist with the arrest of those involved in these crimes to contact their nearest police stations.

The South African Police Union (Sapu) said the killings were “totally unacceptable and can never be tolerated”.

It called for an urgent national summit on the matter.

‘Senseless killings’
“It is unfortunate that a large number of officers are already dead while we have not even reached the half-year mark,” said Sapu general secretary Oscar Skommere.


“The latest incidents in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal make it beyond any doubt that this summit should be held within the shortest possible time.”

“The summit would allow stakeholders to come up with strategies and policies to curb these senseless killings now. Sapu would also like to propose the introduction of tough legislation to curb these killings. We would like suspects in all police attack-related cases to be denied bail and those ultimately found guilty to be given lengthy prison terms.”

Skommere said Sapu would seek an urgent meeting with the Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa, with the intent to organise the summit..

Police had to be trained and equipped to treat any crime scene, even domestic violence cases, as a war zone.

“This is too much. The government must treat this with the seriousness it deserves. An attack on police officers is an attack against the state.”

The Federation of South African Trade Unions (Fedusa) supported Sapu’s call for better protection for police officers.

“The security of police officers is a major concern that must be dealt with immediately. The justice system must allocate suitable sentences, police officers on duty must receive the support needed to efficiently do their jobs and perpetrators must be aware that they will be prosecuted and incarcerated for the illegal actions they commit, ” — Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

Where is the deputy president?

David Mabuza is hard at work — it’s just not taking place in the public eye. The rumblings and discussion in the ANC are about factions in the ruling party, succession and ousting him

Zuma turns on judiciary as trial nears

Former president says pre-trial correspondence is part of another plot

High court declares Dudu Myeni delinquent

Disgraced former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni has been declared a delinquent director by the...

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members
Advertising

Press Releases

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

Openview, now powered by two million homes

The future of free-to-air satellite TV is celebrating having two million viewers by giving away two homes worth R2-million

Road to recovery for the tourism sector: The South African perspective

The best-case scenario is that South Africa's tourism sector’s recovery will only begin in earnest towards the end of this year

What Africa can learn from Cuba in combating the Covid-19 pandemic

Africa should abandon the neoliberal path to be able to deal with Covid-19 and other health system challenges likely to emerge in future

Coexisting with Covid-19: Saving lives and the economy in India

A staggered exit from the lockdown accompanied by stepped-up testing to cover every district is necessary for India right now

Covid-19: Eased lockdown and rule of law Webinar

If you are arrested and fined in lockdown, you do get a criminal record if you pay the admission of guilt fine

Covid-19 and Frontline Workers

Who is caring for the healthcare workers? 'Working together is how we are going to get through this. It’s not just a marathon, it’s a relay'.

PPS webinar Part 2: Small business, big risk

The risks that businesses face and how they can be dealt with are something all business owners should be well acquainted with

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday