Cops must shoot to kill, says MEC

2009-08-20 00:00

THE MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu has called on the police to use deadly force when confronted by criminals, saying they should “fight fire with fire”.

Mchunu was speaking after a police detective from the Taylors Halt police station, Detective Sergeant Patrick Nzimande, was seriously wounded by assailants during a botched hijacking in the Magwenyane area in Elandskop on Saturday.

It was reported that Nzimande was shot in the neck during the incident. However, he managed to shoot and kill three of his assailants, while the other two fled. They hid out in the area and were later found and arrested by the police.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said Detective Nzimande was still in hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Mchunu, who was wishing Nzimande a speedy recovery, said too many police officers are being killed by criminals and they should use excessive force in order to deal with those criminals. He said the officers have the right to defend themselves.

“Police officers should protect themselves when they are in the firing line by using excessive force if necessary. Far too many officers have been seriously injured or killed at the hands of criminals; we are saying enough is enough.

“Our officers should fight fire with fire to win the war against crime.”

He commended the officers who responded promptly to the incident and caught the two suspects who had fled.

Mchunu’s words echoed those of the new police commissioner and his predecessor, Bheki Cele, who recently called for a law change to allow the police to shoot dangerous criminals.

Cele said instead of being “handcuffed” by the Criminal Procedure Act, the police should be allowed to “shoot to kill” without worrying about what happens after that.

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