Cele condemns cop killings
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,"
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
"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.