Phiyega: Cop killings continue unabated

2012-08-21 08:20

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Johannesburg - The killing of police officers continues unabated, national police commissioner Riah Phiyega said on Monday after the deaths of three police officers in the past week.

"Despite the continuous onslaught on our members, our officers continue to put their lives in the line of fire to protect the innocent and defenceless of our country," she said, conveying her condolences to their families and loved ones.

On Wednesday, Constable Eianah Rangani was shot dead and a second police officer was wounded when they tried to stop and search a vehicle with three occupants in Hillbrow.

In Vereeniging, Warrant Officer Mongali Thomas Moagi and Constable Pantsi Daniel Tshakela were shot dead by three men while responding to a report of a hijacking on Saturday. The gunmen fled in the police car before stealing another car.

The three killings followed those of two police officers in protests at Lonmin's Marikana mine, in North West in the week before Thursday's violent confrontation.

On Thursday, police opened fire on a group of mine workers - many of them armed - who had encamped on a hill near the mine, killing 34 of them and wounding 78.

Phiyega has said police had to use force to protect themselves from the group.

According to the Institute for Security Studies, 107 police officials were killed on duty in 2010. Between January and the end of June 2011, a total of 39 police officials had been killed.

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