Cele condemns cop killings

2011-05-22 22:47

Johannesburg - The escalating number of police officers being killed in the line of duty is a national crisis, National Police Commissioner General Bheki Cele said on Sunday.

"This is indeed a crisis. The rate at which our officers are being callously gunned down is extremely alarming," he said.

Cele was responding to news that two police officers from Kraaifontein in the Western Cape were gunned down in the early hours of Sunday.

At around 01:10, Warrant Officer Gurswin Matthee, 39, and Constable Cannon Cloete,23, were attending to a complaint at the corner of Pedro and Boesak Street when they were confronted at gunpoint.

"This attack is a clear indication that there are cold-blooded criminals out there that have no value or thought for human life and we must deal with them doggedly," said Cele.

He condemned the incident and called on communities to help police track down Matthee and Cloete's killers.

"I have attended funerals of my police officers every weekend in the past four weeks and I cannot help but state that community outcry on the killing of our officers is seriously lacking."

Cele urged the public to rally in support to prevent similar attacks from progressing.

"I have called on all police officers throughout the country to continue with their work undeterred and vigilantly," he said.

In the past three days, four police officers were killed while a fifth officer remains in a serious condition in hospital after a shooting in Creighton, KwaZulu-Natal on Friday.

Police Minister, Nathi Mthethwa said that the ministry would ensure those responsible for the kililng of the police would be punished accordingly.

"As the South African Police Service [SAPS], we are a family and when one of us loses his or her life as cowardly as it has happened it pains all of us. We however urge our members to continue in fighting crime fearlessly all within the framework of the law. This is a people’s war and in the end the people shall win this war."

He said circumstances wherein police members lose their lives particularly being shot at by heartless criminals have now reached unacceptable levels. "These dedicated members lose their lives while protecting the nation. We shall never accept, nor allow this to continue because a killing of a single police officer robs the nation.

“No amount of punishment to the scoundrels who murder our police can soften our hearts to accept these evil acts. We shall not allow a few criminals to murder our law enforcement officers, who in the first place lose their lives while protecting society."

Mthethwa has urged society to work with police in arresting those responsible for killing the police.

- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  bheki cele  |  johannebsurg
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