Cele on cop killers: ‘Hunt them down’

2011-01-28 17:16

National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele today repeated calls for police to deal harshly with criminals – particularly those who kill police officers – at Police Day celebrations in Soweto, Johannesburg.

He said: “Anyone who kills a police officer must be hunted down and found. If anyone makes the work of the police difficult to such an extent that somebody loses his life, it must not be a member of the SAPS who loses his life.”

Soweto’s Orlando Stadium was all pomp and ceremony when thousands of police officers from all provinces descended on it.

Police Day marks the day when the South African Police Service Act was enacted in 1995 and the police forces of the former Bantustans were amalgamated to form a single police unit.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa today announced measures that were aimed at strengthening the police.

These would include recruitment, training and the upgrading of investigative, detective and forensic services to ensure that there are convictions.

He said: “We want to focus all our energies in ensuring that we do not only arrest those who are on the wrong side of the law, but mainly secure convictions.”

Mthethwa said all police officers would be introduced to basic detective work even if it was not their aim to ultimately become detectives.

National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele said while 37 000 attended the colourful police event, the remaining 155 000 police force members were “making sure South Africa is safe”.

Cele and Mthethwa spent about an hour sweating it out in an aerobic exercise with police.

Around lunchtime, when speeches were finished, police could be seen jostling for food while others visited nearby pubs to refresh themselves with ciders and beers.

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